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PHOTOS: INS Vikramaditya sets the pace in sea trials

Last updated on: June 29, 2012 13:04 IST

INS Vikramaditya sets the pace in sea trials

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INS Vikramaditya, formerly the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, is undergoing sea trials before delivery to the Indian Navy.

During the trials, scheduled to last 120 days, the ship's all systems will be tested.

After leaving Sevmash Shipyard on June 8, the aircraft carrier headed out into the White Sea where she was pushed to her maximum in a series of trials.

The ship then entered the Barents Sea for air wing trials with test flights and demonstrations of take off and landing carried out using two Russian aircraft, MiG-29K and MiG-35, flown by Russian pilots.

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"The main part of the trials is testing aircraft takeoff and landing," Sevmash chief Andrei Dyachkov told The Hindu.

"The programme of tests is very tight as deck aviation can operate only from June to September in the harsh conditions of Arctic seas."

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INS Vikramaditya sets the pace in sea trials

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Russia last year delivered to the Indian Navy 12 MiG-29K single-seaters and 4 MiG-29KUB two-seaters, which will be based on the Vikramaditya.

India has ordered another batch of 29 MiG-29K deck fighters that will also provide airpower for the Vikrant aircraft carrier being built in India.

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INS Vikramaditya sets the pace in sea trials

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Although the INS Vikramaditya was produced from a Soviet-era cruiser, Sevmash general manager Andrei Diachkov asserts that the warship "is as good as new. Never before has an aircraft carrier undergone such massive modernization. Given proper maintenance, it will stay in service for up to 40 years.

"In fact, the shipyard did not make much profit on this contract, as most of the contract cost went to the suppliers of equipment and systems," Diachkov told Aviation International News.

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Sevmash placed more than 800 contracts for vendor items with 400 suppliers in Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Finland, France, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the UK. Ten Indian companies supplied communication systems, protective coating, telephone exchange, life rafts, pumps, and hygiene and galley equipment.

The ship has a displacement of 45,400 t, an LOA of 928 ft (283 m), beam 167 ft (51 m) and draft of 32.8 ft (10 m).

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INS Vikramaditya sets the pace in sea trials

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The propulsion system comprises eight oil fired boilers with four GTZA 674 steam turbines delivering 50,000 hp to each of the four shafts. It can travel at the speed of 29 knots with a range of 13,800 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 18 knots.

Over 500 Indian navy personnel under the command of the Captain Suraj Berry, the commissioning commanding officer of the ship, is present on board the aircraft carrier observing the trials. By the time India takes command of the ship, there would be around 2000 navy personnel to run Indian navy's biggest ship.

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