Aircraft Carrier INS VikramadityaSlideShow | Thumbnails
After detailed negotiations the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in Dec 1998 during a visit by Russian PM Yevgeny Primakov. The Inter-Governmental Agreement which included acquisition of Project 11430 (Admiral Gorshkov) was signed between the Federation of Russia and the Union Government of India on 04 Oct 2000. After a Detailed Project Development Review, contractual negotiations and thereafter price negotiations, Government approved the acquisition on 17 Jan 04 at a cost of Rs 4881.67 Cr for the complete package of R&R of the ship, spares, infrastructure augmentation and documentation. The deal was signed on 20 Jan 04 and the effective date of the contract was established as 24 Feb 04. The R&R of the ship commenced from 09 Apr 04. The repair and refit was being undertaken by FSUE Sevmash, the state owned shipyard at Severodvinsk, Russia. The R&R was scheduled to have been completed within 52 months. Though the refurbishment process was started in right earnest, soon it was realized that the work and equipment requiring replacement was significantly higher than originally estimated. Entire length of cable, large portions of steel hull, motors, turbines and boilers, etc. would have to be completely replaced with resulting in cost escalation and time slippage. A protracted renegotiation for arriving at a mutually acceptable price for refurbishment was held in the ensuing months. Finally, in Dec 2009, the Indian and the Russian sides arrived at an agreement on the final price of delivery of this ship. More significantly, it was agreed that the delivery of the ship would take place only in the year 2012. Though the re-negotiated price was significantly higher than what was originally agreed upon, the fillip that the addition of Gorshkov would give to the Blue water requirements of Indian Navy compensated the greater price. The Journey of Admiral Gorshkov (nee Baku) The journey of ‘Vikramaditya’ began as the Kiev class aircraft carrying cruiser ‘Baku’. Developed from the Moskva class helicopter carrying guided missile cruisers the Kiev class was a pioneering Soviet era design, featuring a flight deck arrangement capable of operating fixed wing VTOL fighters for the first time in the Soviet Navy. Baku was constructed by Chernomorsky Ship Building Enterprise, Nikolayev (now in Ukraine ). About 400 enterprises and nearly 1,500 - 2,000 workers from different republics of USSR took part in building of the ship. The ship was commissioned on 20 Dec 1987. Conceived as an armed cruiser, Baku was heavily armed with twelve Anti-Ship Missile launchers, ten gun mounts of differing calibre and rocket launchers and depth charges. The air element comprised Yak-38 aircraft. ‘Baku’ was envisioned to be a full-fledged aircraft carrier by Admiral SG Gorshkov, however, due to conflicting dynamics at that time, the ship turned out as the last ‘compromise’ ship of the Kiev series. After her development and construction, it became clear to the Soviet leadership that the vision of Admiral Gorshkov of a classical aircraft carrier with ship borne aircraft as the primary weapons was indeed the most logical way ahead to develop the surface forces. On 07 Nov 1990, the ship was named after Admiral Sergey Georgiyevich Gorshkov. Baku/Admiral Gorshkov began its active operational service with the Northern Fleet and was deployed in the Mediterranean Sea and remained in active service till 1992 and thereafter continued in service albeit with limited operational deployments. The ship was finally decommissioned in 1996.