Decks have been cleared for the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya’s passage through the Suez Canal during its maiden voyage from Russia, where it was modernised, to its homeport at Karwar in Karnataka.
The Suez Canal Authority is understood to have given the go-ahead for the ship to transit through the narrow channel.
Vikramaditya, now docked at the Russian port of Murmansk for replenishment, will likely leave for Lisbon, Portugal, on December 8, escorted by Indian naval frigate Trikhand and fleet tanker Deepak. After a brief halt at Lisbon, it will go through Gibraltar and cutting across the Mediterranean Sea to the Suez Canal before reaching Karwar in mid-January. The vessel will have covered 7,500 nautical miles when it reaches Karwar. Besides its Indian crew, the ship is carrying 177 Russian specialists as part of its guarantee team.