The delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya from Russia had been further delayed to the last quarter of 2013, against the envisaged delivery schedule this December.

However, the total cost would remain at $ 2.3 billion at the time of delivery, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.

“The total project cost of Vikramaditya, as approved by the government in 2004, was $ 974.28 million with the delivery scheduled in August 2008. In March 2010, the cost was renegotiated and increased to $ 2.3 billion with the revised delivery date as December 2012. The total cost will remain at $ 2.3 billion at the time of delivery,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in a written reply.

The 44,500 tonne Kiev class aircraft carrier, which was Admiral Gorshkov, had undergone extensive trials for the first time for 108 days from June to September 2012 with a part of the Indian crew also being on board. A substantial scope of the ship’s equipment and aviation trials were also completed during this period.

“However, the main propulsion plant trials to full power could not be completed during sea trials due to defects encountered in the boiler section. Rectification of the defect is likely to take six months. Post contract conclusion in 2004, the ship was put to sea for the first time in June 2012 and that is when these defects were encountered,” the Minister said.

On steps to meet the operational preparedness of the Navy, he said, “In the interim, the operational requirement of the Navy would be met by INS Viraat, which will remain in service till the induction of Vikramaditya.”

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