- Vikramaditya Page
SPECIFICATIONS PHOTOGRAPHS (Click on the pictures for an enlarged photo)

Designation: CV
Length: 932 ft
Width: 200 ft
Beam: 107 ft
Displacement: 45,000 tons
Propulsion: 8 turbo pressurized boilers,
4 shafts
Speed: 32 knots
Crew: 2000 (600 Airwing)
Airwing: 30 fixed, rotary
- 20 x Mig-29K, HAL Tejas
- 06 x Ka-28 ASW/SAR Helos
- 04 x Ka-31 AEW Helos
- 32 X VLS Barak 1 & 8 SAM
- 04 x 30mm Kashtin CIWS
- 04 x 8 Kashtin 9M311E SAM
- 02 X 12 ASW RBU-6000
Elevators: 2
Ships in class: 1

The INS Vikramaditya, R22, is an Indian Short Take-off, Barrier Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) aircraft carrier. She was originally built as the Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) carrier, the Soviet Admiral Gorshkov, lunached in 1978 as a Kiev Class carrier. She was commissioned into the Indian Navy in November 2013, and arrived in Indian in January of 2014.

Intial Operational Capability:
In May 2014, the INS Vikraqmaditya was officially listed as operational by the Indian Navy, having achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC). She began naval patrols that month, having ten pilots qualified for Mig-29K aircraft operations for the carrier. Ultimately she will have several dozen pilots qualified to operate her twenty Mig-29K aircraft. India has already qualified 32 of its pilots in on-board carrier operations using the US Goshawk trainer off of US carriers. Once they completed that training, the pilots moved to the Indian on shore training facility to become qualified in STOBAR operations, and then to the Vikramaditya herself for final carrier qualifications. Newer pilots qualify soley at Indian facilities.

Arrival in India:
The INS Virkamaditya, R33, and its escort group consisting of the INS Trikand, F51, the INS Deepak, A50, and the INS Delhi, D61, arrived in Indian waters in early January 2014 where they immediately exercised with the INS Viraat, R22, and her carrier group for a week in the Gulf of Oman. Vikramaditya had been escorted through the English Channel by the Royal Navy frigate, HMS Montmout, F235, on December 13, 2013. She had passed through the Straits of Gibrlatar on December 23, 2013. She then transited the Suez canal on December 27, 2013. India, with the addition of the Virkamaditya, is the only other country outside of the United States, and Italy, in the world that can conduct dual carrier exercises. After arriving in India at her homeport at Karwar in Karnataka, India. After arriving, she underwent basic mainteannce after her long voyage, and then began working up her Indian Mig-29K airwing. The first Indian Navy Mig-29K, piloted by an Indian aviator, landed on her deck on Feruary 7, 2014.

In 2004, the Indian and Russian government signed a deal to refurbish and concert the former Russian Kiev Class carrier, Gorshkov, into an Indian STOBAR carrier at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia. The Indians also agreed to essentially help develop the proposed new Mig-29K aircraft, an advanced, naval varient of the older Mig-29. INdia's initial order, as a result of the carrier deal, was for sixteen Mig-29Ks. The new carrier would be named the INS Vikramaditya. The entire price for the refit and the sixteen aircraft was agreed to be $1.5 billion dollars. The deal also included contractual agreements for support and maintenance of the aircraft and carrier in the future, generating more revenue for the Russians. The deal stated that the vessel would be qualified by Russia and then handed over to the Indian Navy by 2010.

Operations and defensive systems were to be a mix of western, Russian, and indeginous Indian systems.

In 2010, because of severe cost overruns and delays, construction on the Vikramaditya was stopped until a new deal was reached between Russia and India. After intensive negotiations, the Indian government agreed to pay a total of $2.3 billion dollars for the carrier and initial airwing. In early 2011 she was officially launched and in March 2011 she underwent mooring trials. She began intial sea trials on June 5, 2012, and completed those trials off the Russian coast in early September 2012. She completed aircraft qualification and landing tests, with the first actual aircraft landing and being trapped on deck by a Mig-29K in early August 2012. She was scheduled to be handed over to the Indian Navy in December of 2012, but due to a problems with several of her boilers (which did not impact air ops) involving the fire bricks, she was unable to reach and maintain her top speed and she had to undergo yard time in Russia to resolve the issue at Russian cost.

In early 2013 it was announced that these issues had been resolved and she put to sea on July 2, 2013 to once again complete her builder's trials. She completed her sea trials, obtaining and sustaining her 32 knot top speed on numerous occassions and in different conditions. It was announced in early August that she had successfully completed her sea trials. She then moved on to her flight operations trials for both day time and night time operations of her Mig-29K fighters and helicopters. It was announced in September 2013 that she had also completed these trials successfully. She was officially handed over to the Indian Navy on November 15, 2013 and commissioned into thje Indian Navy. She then sailed to India in December of 2013 and January of 2014.

The Vikramaditya was going to replace the aging INS Viraat aircraft carrier, after commissioning, but due to delays in completing the first indegenous Indian carrier, the INS Virkant, the decommissioning of the Viraat was delayed until the Vikrant could be completed. INS Virkant was launched in 2015 and is due to commission in 2018.

The main strike aircraft of the Vikramaditya is two squadrons of Mig-29Ks, totaling up to 20 aircraft. The carrier also embarks a squadron of four or more KA-31 AEW helicopters for early warning, and one or two squardons of three to four KA-27 helicopters for anit-submarine and search and rescue duties.

The intial contract with India called for 16 aircraft to be delivered. Russia delivered the first four MiG-29K aircraft under contract to India in February 2009 and a batch of Indian Navy pilots started six months training on the aircraft in Russia. The MiG-29Ks were certified by Russian pilots taking off from the Russian carrier, Kuznetsov. The four aircraft were test flown from the Russian carrier by Russian pilots on September 28-29, 2009.

A second group of five MiG-29Ks was delivered to India in May 2011 along with a simulator and other technical equipment. On August 2, 2011, CEO of MiG corporation Sergei Korotkov told Interfax news agency that a total of 11 MiG-29Ks had been delivered to India up to that time.

"From the first contract for 16 jets, we have already delivered 11 fighter jets to the Indian Navy." - CEO of MiG, Sergei Korotkov

By the end of 2012, all sixteen of the intial contracted Mig-29Ks had been delivered to India.

In the mean time, in 2010, during a state visit to India by Russian President Vladimir Putin, India signed a $1.5-billion dollar contract for an additional 29 MiG-29Ks in New Delhi.

"An agreement on supplying an additional set of MiG-29K fighter jets has been signed, the start of supplies is scheduled for 2012," - Mikhail Pogosyan

The delivery of these aircraft will bring the Indian fleet of Mig-29Ks to a total of 45 aircraft to be used on the Vikramaditya and the Virkant.

As of June 2015, India had received a total of thrity-three Mig-29Ks.

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Last Update : 12-SEP-2015
Jeff Head is an engineering consultant with many years experience in the power, defense, and computer industries. He currently works for the federal government helping maintain and protect regional infrastructure. He is a member of the U.S. Naval Institute, and is also the author of a self-published and best-selling series of military techno-thrillers called the Dragon's Fury that projects a fictional third world war arising out of current events. You can learn more about that series by clicking on the pictures of the novel covers below:


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