Severodvinsk: Russian president Dmitry Medvedev yesterday asked Russian shipbuilder Sevmash, currently engaged on the refit programme of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (ex-Adm Gorshkov), to ensure completion of the project as per the latest schedule for ''otherwise there would be grave consequences.''
''This is a matter of prestige,'' the president said at a meeting at the famed shipyard, one of Russia's oldest and renowned for the number and variety of submarines it has constructed. ''The project should be completed under the deadline that was agreed upon and under the co-ordinated parameters,'' Medvedev underlined.
''We should think of this as a first, very difficult experience,'' Medvedev said on Thursday in the northern port of Severodvinsk. ''We need to complete the carrier and deliver it to our Indian partners. Otherwise there could be grave consequences.''
Medvedev took note that the refit programme had no equal for the sophisticated design solutions it had brought into play and the amount of work involved. ''But we should complete this work,'' the president said. ''All disputes (with Indian clients) should be settled. It is necessary to agree on the remaining unsettled parameters and complete the work,'' he stressed.
Earlier, Nikolai Kalistratov, director general, Sevmash, pointed out that a careful examination of all the equipment and various components of the aircraft carrier had revealed that refitting and repairing it would be much more expensive than earlier planned.
''We had to replace all equipment, so, making the price going up dramatically,'' he said with regret. He noted, however, that the shipyard would obligatorily finalize the project. ''We have already decided and prepared everything regarding tests,'' he said, adding that the Russian side would hold the tests first. The Indian Navy would follow thereafter.