Russian aircraft carrier delivery to India delayed

MOSCOW Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:33pm IST

Admiral Gorshkov, a Soviet-era aircraft carrier that was bought by India, is anchored at the Sevmash factory in the northern city of Severodvinsk July 2, 2009. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/Files

Admiral Gorshkov, a Soviet-era aircraft carrier that was bought by India, is anchored at the Sevmash factory in the northern city of Severodvinsk July 2, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will fail to deliver an aircraft carrier to India this year, after the $2.3 billion vessel encountered engine problems during testing, sources close to the country's weapons exporter said on Monday.

"Fixing the problem entails changing the engines or repairing them. It will take around nine months, maybe more maybe less, but definitely more than six months," one source close to arms exporter Rosoboronexport told Reuters.

"That's why the promised delivery of the ship by the end of this year wont happen."

Kommersant newspaper reported that defects on the ship, Vikramaditya, were discovered during a sea test when the vessel accelerated to maximum speed and its emergency warning system sounded.

The report said seven of the ship's eight engines failed once maximum speed was reached and that the engine problems arose after India refused to accept the use of asbestos as an insulator.

Another source contacted by Reuters said it was likely that only three of the engines were affected but that repair or replacement could take up to a year.

Originally built for the Soviet Union as the Admiral Gorshkov, the Vikramaditya is seen as a cornerstone by both India and Russia of their defence ties.

India for years has been Russia's top arms customer, buying at least $1.6 billion worth last year, or 21 percent of all of Russia's defence exports.

"Nothing has officially been communicated to us here by our Russian counterparts. During trials, there have been always all sorts of rumours," said an Indian Navy spokesman.

"As far as we know, until the Russians communicate to us about any specific failure during sea trials, our date of receiving the ship stands."

The ship was scheduled to be delivered to the Indian Navy in time for the country's December 4 naval holiday.

Last year, then President Dmitry Medvedev threatened to buy foreign weapons for Russia's army if the defence industry was unable to boost the quality of its products. Russia has already ordered two French amphibious landing ships, a decision sharply criticised by the Russian defence industry.

The second largest arms exporter in the world, Russia has pushed to modernise its rusting defence industry which has suffered from lack of funding and a slide in innovation since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

(Additional reporting by Arup Roychaudhory in New Delhi; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Shares Hit Record

Sensex, Nifty rise to second consecutive record high

Sensex surges 500 points on BOJ easing, L&T gains

The BSE Sensex and Nifty surged to record highs for a second consecutive session on Friday after Bank of Japan's surprise expansion of its massive stimulus programme raised hopes for additional foreign inflows, boosting blue-chips such as Larsen & Toubro.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Wilful Negligence?

Wilful Negligence?

SEBI piles pressure on Sahara to sell overseas hotels  Full Article 

Indian Economy

Indian Economy

India's fiscal deficit in H1 almost 83 pct of full-year target.  Full Article 

M&M Earnings

M&M Earnings

M&M Q2 net profit down 4 percent, hit by poor monsoon.  Full Article 

Ban on E-Cigs?

Ban on E-Cigs?

Govt considers ban on e-cigarettes, sale of single smokes.  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Silver futures in India hit four-year low on global cues.  Full Article 

BOJ Policy

BOJ Policy

BOJ shocks markets with surprise easing as inflation slows.  Full Article 

Shadow Banking

Shadow Banking

China's shadow banking sector growing rapidly, third largest in world - FSB.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage