Refitted Gorshkov to set sail for India Nov 30

Moscow, Oct 14 (IANS) Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which has been refitted for the Indian Navy, will set sail for India Nov 30, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced Monday.

"On Nov 30, the ship will leave our waters for India," Rogozin said at Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's Monday meeting with his deputy prime ministers, according to Voice of Russia.

Medvedev said that the completion of the ship's upgrade "is a question of prestige for our shipbuilding".

"Even though there were numerous difficulties, it is important that this job is completed and that our Indian colleagues accept the ship," Medvedev said.

The ship is to be transferred to India under the name of Vikramaditya.

The original agreement with Russian for refitting and upgrade of Gorshkov was signed in 2004 for $974 million. The delivery of the modified Kiev class aircraft carrier commissioned by the Soviet Navy in 1987 and decommissioned in 1996 was set for 2008.

In 2007, Rosoboronexport, the sole Russian agency responsible for selling and exporting weapon systems, indicated a delay in the delivery of the carrier. In 2008, it demanded an additional $1.2 billion in writing saying it had made mistakes in calculations.

Both sides finally settled the cost at $2.3 billion.

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