Admiral Gorshkov delivery to India could be delayed: Contractor

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Moscow, Nov 21 (UNI) The delivery of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov from Russia to India under a 2004 contract could be delayed indefinitely, a source at the Sevmash shipyard in St Petersburg has said.

''It is definitely not going to be 2008, the deadline stipulated in the contract,'' the source told RIA Novosti news agency.

''There are many factors that caused the delay, the value of the contract is in 2004 dollar prices and the cost estimate was incorrect right from the start,'' the Sevmash source said.

''Experience shows that work on this scale should have been estimated at three times higher,'' the source said, adding many sub-contractors had failed to supply the necessary parts and equipment on time.

The contract to deliver the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier to India, which state-run arms exporter Rosoboron export signed with the Indian Navy in January 2004, covers the modernisation of the ship and equipping it with modern weaponry, including the MiG-29K Fulcrum aircraft and Ka-27 Helix-A and Ka-31 Helix-B anti-submarine helicopters.

The ship is undergoing modernisation work, including retrofitting and upgradation at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, in northern Russia, but the overhauling has been slow and suffered a number of setbacks, including lack of financing and poor project management.

Former director of the Sevmash shipyard, Vladimir Pastukhov, was fired earlier this year over his poor management of the project and some media reports suggested that prosecutors had been investigating a possible fraud case over mismanagement of funds by Sevmash officials.


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