INS Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier is refurbished Soviet era aircraft-carrying heavy cruiser Admiral Gorshkov (project 11434) which weighs 40,000 tonnes. This maakes it the biggest and heaviest warship to be operated by the Indian Navy. Before its delivery to the Indian Navy, INS Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier had spent 188 days at sea covering over 31000 km and its MiG-29K/KUB fighter aircraft made 88 takeoffs and landings.
INS Vikramaditya is 284 metres long and 60 metres high was purchased for $974 million in 2004 but project suffered from delays and cost overruns. INS Vikramaditya is scheduled to leave the Russian territorial waters on November 30, 2013.
The INS Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier will operate MiG-29K fighter jets as fixed wing aircraft and Ka-31 airborne early warning (AEW) helicopters. Indian Navy has ordered 16 MiG-29K (12 MiG-29K, 4 two-seat MiG-29KUB) and order for additional 29 MiG-29K/KUB fighter jets was placed later.
|Photos are courtesy Shiv Aroor|