A MiG Over the Deck: Vikramaditya Aviation Tests Passed

The Vikramaditya aircraft carrier successfully completes all trials in the Barents and the White seas and will be handed over to India in the middle of November.

The INS Vikramaditya, the Indian Navy’s state-of-the art aircraft carrier has passed all tests and is returning from the testing area in the Barents Sea to Sevmash for an official handover ceremony.

All participants in the trials– the Indian and Russian crews, the delivery team, government commission members and observers – are expected soon at Severodvinsk, where the practically combat-ready ship is due to return after two-and-a-half months of sailing and passing tests on the Barents and the White seas.

“The trials programme has been completed, and we expect the aircraft carrier to dock at Sevmash on Friday, September 20,” the shipyard said in a press note, confirming unofficial press reports. “The weather has been less then cooperative, though”. On July 3, the Vikramaditya, refurbished on behalf of the Indian Navy, sailed to the White Sea for repeat trials (after repairs on its steam boilers were completed). This time around, the power plant was beyond reproach – the ship achieved the required 29 knots while demonstrating good manoeuvrability.

This was followed by joint trial missions with the Northern Fleet’s naval aircraft at the Barents Sea. The MiG and the Sukhoi aircraft performed daytime and night-time take-offs and landings, with different sets of armaments and fuel loads. According to unofficial reports, both the equipment and the people operating it performed brilliantly. In any case, the customer’s representatives were on hand to witness the action and were happy with what they saw.
During its return trip, on the White Sea, the ship once again went full steam ahead at the request of the Indian side, achieving 29.5 knots to meet the design specifications. According to Rossiyskaya Gazeta sources, the ship also went full steam in reverse at 15.2 knots. The commander of the Russian crew, Captain Igor Ryabko, and Indian Navy Commodore Suraj Berry took turns at the controls.

Once the Vikramaditya arrives at Sevmash, the shipyard’s workers will get down to preparing the ship for official delivery to the customer. A special handover ceremony has been tentatively scheduled for November 15.

Informed sources tell RIR that the Vikramaditya will reach India’s west coast by the middle of January 2014. 

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