Russia raising money to upgrade Admiral Gorshkov for Indian Navy

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Moscow, Oct 25 (UNI) Russia is raising money to complete the upgradation of heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov for Indian Navy.

Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko has proposed to Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to cover a portion of costs by another export contract, leading business daily Kommersant reported today.

''Simultaneously, India has been notified of the need to reconsider the Admiral Gorshkov contract in view of increasing its value,'' it said.

The paper said Khristenko addressed Serdyukov, seeking his help to sort out the problem of upgrading Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier.

The delivery of the carrier to India was put off by over three years, while its cost soared by 380 million dollars ''less potential penalty'', it quoted Khristenko as telling to Serdyukov via a letter dated August 22.

The contract is executed by Sevmash Production Association and it needs the government's support to fulfill the obligations.

The state could back up the enterprise by contracting it to construct two diesel-electric submarines of Project 636 ordered by a foreign client. Then, Sevmash will be able to transfer some funds ''to offset money shortage'' generated when re-equipping Admiral Gorshkov, Khristenko said.

Quoting sources, the paper said the two submarines mentioned by the Minister have been ordered by Venezuela.

India got the hull of Admiral Gorshkov free of charge in 2004 on condition that the aircraft carrier would be upgraded at Sevmash.

The contract budget is roughly 1.5 billion dollars. Of this amount, about 700 million dollars is to be spent for the vessel, while the remainder will go to buy 16 MiG-29KKUBs, the paper said.

Shelving the dates of Admiral Gorshkov's handover from 2008 to 2011 or 2012 is being currently negotiated, it added.

In Military and Industrial Commission, sources said Sevmash has promised to allocate 89 million dollars from the submarine contract to complete the upgrade of Admiral Gorshkov.

''But this amount won't solve the matter. They need up to 1 billion dollars in addition and the talks with India are underway to step up the contract budget,'' sources added.

UNI

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