New Delhi: A high ranking Indian official has voiced hope that India and Russia would soon break a deadlock over the issue of price, as well as the delivery date, for the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (ex-Adm Gorshkov) currently being refurbished at a Russian shipyard.
"The two countries are locked in intense negotiations over the price," defence secretary Vijay Singh told reporters here. He also said that work on the carrier was in progress at a Russian shipyard.
"Technical assessment of the work needed on the carrier is still on," Singh said, adding that the final price agreed upon would soon be submitted to the Union Cabinet for their approval.
India has already agreed to revise the price for the upgrade programme. "It is difficult yet to put a firm figure on the price escalation," Singh said.
The 45,000-tonne warship was to be delivered by August last year under a $1.5 billion contract signed in 2004. However, Moscow delivered a rude shock to India last year by demanding an additional $1.2 billion for the programme.
It also transpired that delivery of the carrier would be delayed by as much as four years. The defence secretary recently led a high-level team to Moscow to inspect the aircraft carrier.