The delivery of the much-delayed Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov to the Indian Navy is likely to be postponed till the next year due to the malfunctioning of its engines during sea trials.
According to reports in Russian daily Kommersant, three of the eight boilers of the 44,500 ton warship were found to be malfunctioning as 'they cannot reach their full capacity'.
The report suggested that in view of the malfunctions, the aircraft carrier would be ready for delivery only by October 2013. The warship, rechristened INS Vikramaditya, was scheduled for commissioning into the Indian Navy by December 4 this year.
The Daily said aircraft carrier would be brought to the Sevmash shipyard -- where is is being upgraded for the Indian Navy, for 'complete examination and troubleshooting identified during testing'.
The reports suggested that the boilers were malfunctioning as India didn't want asbestos to be used for protecting them from heat.
The Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation will now decide on the timing and cost of repairs of the aircraft carrier, it said.
The warship, which was supposed to be delivered to India in 2009, has been hit by several cost and time overruns in the last few years. The deal for the aircraft carrier was first signed in 2004 but it was renegotiated at $2.3 billion after repeated cost revision demands by the Russian side for its repair and overhaul. The ship was laid down in 1978 at Nikolayev South in Ukraine.
Image: Admiral Gorshkov
Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/Reuters