Mumbai: The Indian Navy denied reports in the Russian and Indian media that delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (ex-Admiral Gorshkov) would be delayed till 2010. Indian Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, expressing surprise at the report, has said that refitting of the ship was moving ahead as per schedule, with only marginal delays.
"The work is going on as per schedule and I do not know where this particular report came from. The work is only three to four months behind schedule and we can expect the aircraft carrier to be delivered by late 2008 or early 2009," chief of naval staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, told reporters here. Adm Mehta also said that the Russians have committed for a timely delivery of the aircraft carrier.
It may be recalled that a few days back media reports had said that Russian shipbuilders had grossly miscalculated the amount of cabling required for the ship by almost four times, provisioning for 700km as against a requirement of 2,400km. This underestimate would have pushed delivery of the ship back to 2010.
The aircraft carrier is currently being refitted at a cost of $1 billion at the Sevmash shipyard in Serverodvinsk city of Russia.
"Our officials, who are stationed at the spot have said that the work is going on as per schedule and we can have a month long delay once the work is completed as that part of Russia is frozen for a long time," he said.
Adm Mehta was in the city to preside over the investiture ceremony of naval officers and men held at INS Kunjali today.