Russia admits warship faulty, delays delivery

Russia admitted Friday it would not be able to deliver to India by the yearend a refurbished but still-faulty Soviet-era aircraft carrier that has come to symbolise its recent military decline.
The December handover date for the 30-year-old Admiral Gorshkov — renamed the INS Vikramaditya by India since the agreement to purchase the carrier in 2004 — is set to be pushed back by nine months, a top shipping official said.
“We expect to push back the aircraft carrier’s handover by nine months,” news agencies quoted Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (OSK) Andrei Dyachkov as saying. Reports have said that problems had developed on three of the eight boilers during testing. An explosion of one had put the ship out of commission in the 1990s before India considered the craft.
Mr Dyachkov said other equipment had failed during a test-run for the client — including items provided by Nato nations for their Asian military ally. The broken pieces included “three coolers, a nitrogen gas generator, and a range of other equipment,” OSK head Dyachkov reported to deputy prime minister and the government’s military hardware pointman Dmitry Rogozin. Defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov said a delay was “likely”.

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