Antony will leave for Russia tomorrow with a high-level delegation, including Defence Secretary RK Mathur, on a four-day visit during which, apart from commissioning the aircraft carrier, he will also co-chair the IndiaRussia Inter -Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu.
Contracted for in 2004, during the NDA regime, the vessel has been delayed by over five years and has seen several time and cost-overruns in the last nine years.
"The commissioning ceremony will take place at Sevmash Shipyard, Severodvinsk, on Saturday and the IRIGC-MTC meeting will take place in Moscow on Monday," a Defence Ministry release said.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin will be attending the commissioning along with Defence Minister Shoigu. For the IRIGC-MTC, Antony's delegation includes Secretary (Defence Production) GC Pati, DG (Acquisition) SB Agnihotri, and senior officers of the armed forces.
At the meet, the two sides will discuss a broad spectrum of issues related to ongoing and proposed defence projects and defence cooperation between the two countries. The two sides will also exchange views on bilateral concerns related to regional and global issues, the release said.