November 1, 2013

INS Vikramaditya to set sail for India on November 30

After a prolonged delay and hard bargaining, aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, or INS Vikramaditya as it's being renamed, will set sail from Russian waters for India on November 30, fulfilling the Navy's long-standing ambition of adding to its fleet of such vessels and extending the country's maritime security capability.

Defence Minister AK Antony will 'accept' the aircraft carrier on November 16 ahead of the sailing and it's expected to reach India in January-February next year, officials said. The delay had become as a major irritant in ties between the two countries that have traditionally had close defence ties.
Antony will attend the meeting of the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IR-IGCMTC) held every year, alternately in the two nations, where future cooperation in defence issues is decided. He will discuss a number of deals including issues related to the ongoing Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft being developed by Russia jointly with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
The INS Vikramaditya will boost the Indian Navy's ambition of projecting power in the Asia Pacific Region. It already has a carrier, the INS Viraat, which will make India the only country in Asia to have two such vessels. China launched its first aircraft carrier, Lioning, last year. Its hull was imported from Ukraine and refurbished in China. Beijing is reportedly building two more aircraft carriers but details aren't available.


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