CAG criticizes Govt., Navy over Gorshkov deal

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New Delhi, July 24 (ANI): The Comptroller and Auditor General has heavily criticized the government and Navy over the Admiral Gorshkov deal saying that the aging Russian aircraft carrier will not be able to address India's security needs due to the delay in its delivery.

According to the CAG report, induction of Russia's damaged aircraft carrier, now rechristened INS Vikramaditya, would cost the Navy more than a new ship.

The cost of acquisition has almost doubled.

The CAG report further points out that the Navy would be acquiring an old ship with limited life span that would be ready only by 2012-2013.

It adds that certain key components like the anti-missile system are also past their best and their refit would be taken up only between 2013 and 2017 - thereby making the ship vulnerable to missile attacks.

The Soviet-era aircraft carrier is anchored at the Sevmash factory in the northern city of Arkhangelsk for refit with over 2,000 workers employed on the project.

Under the original 1.5 billion dollars 2004 contract between Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport and the Indian Navy, which includes delivery of MiG-29K fighters, the work on the aircraft carrier was to have been completed by August 2008.

Russia later claimed that it had underestimated the scale and the cost of the modernization, and asked for an additional 1.4 billion dollars, which New Delhi said was "exorbitant."

Now, both India and Russia claim that the negotiations on the cost of aircraft carrier repair and refit is in the final stages.

While the Russians pegged the cost at 2.9 billion dollars this February, India has been showing keenness in finalising it for about 2.2 billion dollars. (ANI)

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