Russia delays delivery of Indian Navy submarine by at least 6 months

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Moscow, Jan 16 (UNI) The delivery of an Indian Navy diesel submarine, which recently underwent two-year retrofitting at a Russian Barents Sea shipyard, will be delayed by at least six months, a shipyard spokesman said today.

Last week, the Indian Navy refused to take the delivery of the Sindhuvijay, saying its Club-S cruise missile system had not met specifications.

The Indian Navy claimed that cruise missiles failed to find their targets in six consecutive test firings in September-November last year.

''The submarine has passed all its sea trials and was ready in November 2007, but the delivery had to be delayed due to problems with the Club-S system,'' the spokesman for the Zvyozdochka shipyard told RIA Novosti news agency.

He said the submarine would remain at the shipyard, awaiting further missile firing tests at a White Sea testing site in July-August.

The retrofitting of Sindhuvisjay, a Project 877 EKM diesel submarine, began at the Zvyozdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk in late 2005.

The much-touted Club-S submarine cruise missile family includes the 3M-54E1 anti-ship missile and the 3M-14E land-attack versions, with a flight range of 275 km.

The high-precision missile can be launched from standard torpedo tubes from a depth of 35 to 40 meters (130 feet).

In a contract signed in 2001, India had sent ten Kilo class submarines to Russia for refitting to make them capable of firing the Club-class cruise missiles.

The Sindhuvijay is the fourth Indian Navy submarine that has been overhauled at the Zvezdochka shipyard.

Russia earlier announced a delay in the overhaul of the Admiral Gorshkov heavy aircraft carrier, sold to India under a 2004 contract, citing time and costs overruns.

The delivery of the carrier has been pushed back to 2012-13, according to some sources, while Russia asked for an additional 1.2 billion dollars for the carrier, which was originally sold for 1.5 billion dollars.

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