Designation: CV
Length: 900 ft
Width: 174 ft
Beam: 107 ft
Displacement: 45,000 tons
Propulsion: 8 turbo pressurized boilers,
4 shafts
Speed: 32 knots
Crew: 1,600
Airwing: 30 fixed, rotary
Armament:
– 3 X 24 SA-N-9 SAM
– 4 X 32 CADS-N-1 SAM/CIWS
– 4 X AK-630 30mm CIWS
-2 X 12 ASW RBU-6000
Elevators: 2
Ships in class: 1

The former Russian Kiev Class carrier, Gorshkov, was agreed to be refitted in Russian shipyards if the Indians would by the entire wing of Mig-29K aircraft for 1.5 billion. The deal also included contractual agreements for support and maintenance of the aircraft and carrier in the future, generating more revenue for the Russians. The vessel is slated to be qualified by Russia and then handed over to the Indian Navy in December of 2012.

The Virkamaditya set sail on her innitial sea trials on June 8, 2012.

Operations and defensive systems are planned to be a mix of western, Russian, and indeginous Indian systems, like a number of other Indian naval vessels.

In addition to the main strike aircraft of Mig-29Ks, the carrier is likely to use the KA-331 AEW aircraft for early warning, and KA-27 aircraft fro ASW and SAR work.

The Vikramaditya will replace the aging INS Viraat aircraft carrier in 2013, after commissioning. Also in 2013-2014, the Vikramaditya will be joined by the INS Vikraant, currently under construction and due to be the first indegenously designed and built Indian aircraft carrier.

Russia delivered the first four MiG-29K aircraft – two single seat fighters and two twin seat trainers – under contract to India in February 2009 and a batch of Indian Navy pilots started six months training on the aircraft in Russia. The MiG-29Ks were certified by Russian pilots taking off from the Russian carrier, Kuznetsov. The four aircraft were test flown from the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov by Russian pilots on September 28-29, 2009.

A second lot of four MiG-29K and one MiG29KUBs were delivered to India in May 2011 along with a simulator and other technical equipment. On August 2, 2011, CEO of MiG corporation Sergei Korotkov told Interfax news agency that a total of 11 MiG-29Ks had been delivered to India so far.

“From the first contract for 16 jets which included 12 single seater MiG-29K and two double seater trainer-cum -fighter MiG-29KUB, we have already delivered 11 fighters, including 9 single seater and 2 double seater jets to the Indian Navy,” CEO of MiG, Sergei Korotkov, said.

Indian pilots are training to fly the MiG-29Ks from a shore-based facility. They have been doing up to 15 sorties per day. Russia and India signed an additional $1.5-billion contract for an additional 29 MiG-29Ks in New Delhi during the visit of Russian PM Vladimir Putin.

“An agreement on supplying an additional set of MiG-29K fighter jets has been signed, the start of supplies is scheduled for 2012,” Mikhail Pogosyan said.

This will bring the Indian fleet of Mig-29Ks to a total of 45 aircraft for the Vikramaditya and the upcoming Virkant, being built in India.

In 2010, because of cost overruns construction was stopped until a new deal was reached totaling 2.3 billion for the carrier and initial airwing between Russia and India. The carrier underwent mooring trials in March 2011. She began her initial sea trials om June 8,2012. She is scheduled to be delivered to the Indian Navy in December of 2012.

On september 17 2012 the failure of 7 boilers of 8 resulting into failed sea trials have further delayed the delivery of the carrier for almost a year.
Commissioning
She was formally commissioned on 16 November 2013 at a ceremony held at Severodvinsk, Russia. The ceremony was attended by Indian defence minister A.K. Antony and the Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin. The ship is expected to begin patrolling the Indian ocean by early 2014.
Service history

Vikramaditya being escorted by INS Viraat and other ships of the Western Fleet in the Arabian Sea.
After commissioning, the carrier began a continuous 26-day journey of 10,212 nautical miles to its homeport at INS Kadamba, Karwar, from Severodvinsk on 27 November 2013, with a short stopover in Lisbon. It is under the command of Commodore Suraj Berry, who is her first Indian captain. Apart from her Indian crew, she also carried 177 Russian specialists from Sevmash, who will remain on board for one year, as part of the 20-year post-warranty services contract with the shipyard. During the journey, it encountered a storm in the Barents Sea where she linked up with her escorts frigate INS Trikand and fleet tanker INS Deepak. The group was escorted by the Royal Navy frigate Monmouth while passing through the English Channel, and was joined by destroyer INS Delhi near Gibraltar.

A MiG-29K performs a touch and go landing on Vikramaditya
The flotilla sailed in the Mediterranean sea, crossed the Suez Canal and entered the Arabian Sea near the Gulf of Aden on 1 January 2014. It was received nearly 1,200 nautical miles (2,200 km) away from Indian shores by a large flotilla of the Western fleet, which was composed of the aircraft carrier INS Viraat, two Delhi-class destroyers including INS Mumbai, three Talwar-class frigates, the frigate INS Godavari, and a couple of offshore patrol vessels including INS Subhadra. The event was significant as the Indian Navy was operating two aircraft carriers simultaneously for the first time in 20 years. After conducting basic sea exercises with the fleet, Vikramaditya reached Karwar on 7 January 2014.

Navy pilots of INAS 303 “Black Panthers” operating the MiG-29K practiced carrier operations at the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) in INS Hansa, Panaji. The first aircraft piloted by an Indian Navy pilot landed on the carrier on 8 February 2014. Since then, the pilots and air controllers have been certified for operating the MiG-29K fighters from the carrier deck, including night landings. The carrier’s air wing will consist of 16 MiG-29Ks including four KUB trainers, six airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) Kamov Ka-31 and Kamov Ka-28 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters.

In May 2014, the carrier was declared operationally deployed along with its embarked air group comprising Mig-29Ks and had taken part in a war game conducted by the Western Naval Command. On 14 June 2014, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi dedicated the carrier to the country.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Inducted Into Indian Navy On 16 nov 2013 … will soon Begin Journey Towards India For 60 days… Lack Air Defence weapons As Of Now But Will Install Kashtan Ak 630 in First Refit As it Arrives In India. Barak 8 as Soon as project Gets Completed….most Probably in 3 years… Would Accompany Ins Deepak And A Talwar Class At All Time with A Kashin Destroyer And A Ssk To On Patrols

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s