Sunday, November 17, 2013

India Buys Aircraft Carrier

Aircraft Carrier Admiral Gorshkov

India has heightened its rivalry with China by taking possession of its third aircraft carrier, a refurbished Soviet-era vessel.

The £1.4bn ($2.3bn) aircraft carrier, handed over on Saturday at a north Russian shipyard, will help India to counterbalance the expansion of the Chinese navy.

The 45,000-tonne ship, built in the final years of the Soviet Union and named the Admiral Gorshkov, will be escorted by warships to India on a two-month voyage from Russia's northern coast. It has been renamed INS Vikramaditya.

A recent upgrade means the carrier, originally designed to carry Yak-38 vertical take-off aircraft, has been re-equipped to carry Mig-29K fighter jets. It can carry up to 30 aircraft and will have a crew of around 2,000.[…]

The INS Vikramaditya was commissioned into the Indian navy at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, on the White Sea, in a ceremony attended by the Russian deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, and Indian defence minister, AK Antony.
Previous reporting indicates that China is becoming more belligerent and threatening neighbors in the South China Sea so expanded military precautions/preparations by India are not surprising.

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