NEW DELHI — The Russian-made carrier formerly known as the Admiral Gorshkov will be delived to India at the end of this year, five years behind schedule.
Russia has formally communicated to the Indian Defence Ministry, based on the successful completion of engine trials during final sea trials.
Russian shipyard Sevmash, which has carried out the refit on Gorshkov, has told the MoD that the trials on the engine focused on the propulsion system, which had been an area of concern on the carrier, an MoD official said.
After a series of delays, Gorshkov, now renamed Vikramaditya by the Indian Navy, was to have been delivered by the end of 2012, but because of problems with the boilers during sea trials last year the delivery had to be put off.
Gorshkov will now be tested with Russian-made MiG-29K aircraft.
India could not force a penalty on the Russians for the delay of the carrier despite paying more than double the contracted price because the Russians rejected the Indian demand and at one time even threatened to pull out of the contract, an MoD source said.
The Indian Navy has one 50-year-old aircraft carrier — Viraat — whose life has been extended until 2017, when a homemade indigenous aircraft carrier joints the fleet.