INS Vikramaditya to undergo first refit next year

Last Updated 17 August 2015, 10:10 IST

Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, India's biggest warship, will undergo its first refit next year and it is likely to be carried out at Pipavav shipyard, part of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group.

Defence sources said that the first refit of the 45000- tonne ship will be done after the International Fleet Review in February 2016.

While the Russians, being the original manufacturer, will carry out the refit, the sources said it is likely to be conducted at Pipavav shipyard in Gujarat by both Russian and Indian engineers and workers.

Details of all the repairs required to be carried out at Pipavav have been received and a budgetary quote is being prepared, the sources said.

The refit is expected to take four months.

Vikramaditya is a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier which was purchased by India from Russia for the navy and joined the fleet in 2013.

The ship, which was earlier called 'Admiral Gorshkov', was renamed in honour of Vikramaditya, a legendary first century BC emperor.

Commissioned in 1987, the carrier served with the Soviet and Russian navies before being decommissioned in 1996, for being too expensive to operate.

Vikramaditya, a floating airfield, has an overall length of about 284 metres and a maximum beam of about 60 metres, stretching as much as three football fields put together. Standing about 20 storeys tall from the keel to the highest point, the ship has a total of 22 decks and carries 1,600 personnel.

Its logistics requirements include nearly a lakh of eggs, 20,000 litres of milk and 16 tonnes of rice per month. With its complete stock of provisions, the ship is capable of sustaining itself at sea for about 45 days.

Pipavav has managed to land some high-profile tie-ups with Russians ever since the Reliance Group came into the picture last year.

It was earlier selected by Zvyozdochka Shipyard of Russia for refit of EKM 877 submarines in India. It is expected that potential refit of 24 submarines will generate business worth Rs 30,000 crore for the shipyard.

Pipavav is also reported to have been selected by United Shipbuilding Company of Russia for manufacturing of four frigates.

Selection of Pipavav for both the projects was made after independent surveys of various shipyards in the country, both in the public and private sectors, the sources said. Pipavav claims to have the largest dry dock in the country.

(Published 17 August 2015, 10:10 IST)

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