- 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

Latest News:
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 on Mig-29K aircraft operations on theVikramaditya. Ultimately she will have several dozen pilots qualified to operate her twenty-four Mig-29K aircraft. Inidia has already qualified 32 of its pilots in on-board carrier operations using the US Goshawk trainer operating off of US carriers for their qualification Those pilots have also been going through the Inidan on shore training facility to become qualified there, and then moving to the Vikrmaditya herself for final carrier qualifications.

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, tand 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.

The former Russian Kiev Class carrier, Gorshkov, was agreed to be refitted in Russian shipyards if the Indians would by the entire wing of Mig-29K aircraft for 1.5 billion. 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 vessel is slated to be qualified by Russia and then handed over to the Indian Navy in December of 2012.

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

The Vikramaditya will replace the aging INS Viraat aircraft carrier in 2013, after commissioning. Also in 2013-2014, the Vikramaditya will be joined by the INS Virkant, currently under construction and due to be the first indegenously designed and built Indian aircraft carrier.

In 2010, because of cost overruns construction on the Vikramaditya was stopped until a new deal was reached between Russia and India totaling 2.3 billion 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 trap on deck by a Mig-29K came in early August 2012. She was scheduled to be handed over to the Indian Navy in December of 2012, but due to problems with 3-4 of her boilers (which did not impact air ops) involving the fire bricks, she was unable to reach or maintain her top speed and had to undergo yard time in Russia to resolve the issue.

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 first, onbtaining 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. She then sailed to India in December of 2013 and January of 2014.

The main strike aircraft of the vikramaditya will be two squadrons of Mig-29Ks, totaling up to 24 aircraft. The carrier will embark a squadron of 3-4 KA-31 AEW aircraft for early warning, and one or two squardons of 6-8 KA-27 aircraft for ASW and SAR.

Russia delivered the first four MiG-29K aircraft - two single seat fighters and two twin seat trainers - 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 aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov by Russian pilots on September 28-29, 2009.

A second lot of four MiG-29K and one lot of MiG29KUBs were 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 so far.

"From the first contract for 16 jets which included 12 single seater MiG-29K and two double seater trainer-cum -fighter MiG-29KUB, we have already delivered 11 fighters, including 9 single seater and 2 double seater jets to the Indian Navy," CEO of MiG, Sergei Korotkov, said.

Indian pilots are training to fly the MiG-29Ks from a shore-based facility. They have been doing up to 15 sorties per day. Russia and India signed an additional $1.5-billion contract for an additional 29 MiG-29Ks in New Delhi during the visit of Russian PM Vladimir Putin.

"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 said.

This will bring the Indian fleet of Mig-29Ks to a total of 45 aircraft for the Vikramaditya and the upcoming Virkant, currently being built in India.


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Last Update : 7-JUN-2014
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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