Russia will delay delivery of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov until the end of next year, despite India's "serious concern" over the prolonged delay.
The issue came up at a meeting between defence minister AK Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov, during which Moscow said the 45,000-tonne aircraft carrier had suffered a "big malfunction" in its engine and could be handed over only in the "fourth quarter of 2013".
The delivery of the warship, which would have given the Indian Navy two aircraft carriers, by December this year, has now been pushed back by almost one more year.
India had signed the contract for buying the second-hand warship, now rechristened INS Vikramaditya, as far back as in 2004 and it was supposed to be delivered in 2009. However, actual delivery of the aircraft carrier was delayed with no end in sight, amidst recurring escalation in price.
"We have handed over the revised overhaul and transfer schedule to the Indian side and we believe that transfer of the ship will take place in the 4th quarter of the 2013," Serdyukov told reporters at a joint press conference after the meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IR-IGMTC).
"The ship encountered big malfunction with the main power plant and the boiler. Right now the ship is relocated to the factory," he said.