A high-level Indian defence team has carried out a detailed inspection of refurbishment of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, which Russia is expected to deliver to India by 2012.

Vice-Admiral Nadel Nirajan Kumar, who headed the Indian delegation, noted “positive dynamic in the works on the aircraft carrier” at Sevmash shipyards in Severodvinsk region, shipyard spokesperson, Yekaterina Pilikina, was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass.

She said the Indian delegation visited the warship and examined the refurbishment in detail.

Ms. Pilikina said the team was “pleased” to see the United Shipbuilding Corporation taking all efforts to keep with the work schedule that has been agreed to by both the governments.

Initially, the contract was estimated to cost $1.5 billion, but in early 2008 Russia sought an additional $1.2 billion.

After protracted negotiations, India finally agreed to pay $2.3 billion for the carrier, which is to be commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya.

The 44,570-tonne aircraft carrier will replace INS Viraat and after modernisation it is expected to be seaworthy for 30 years.

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