2008: India will join the United States, Russia and China by building a land
based landing field in the same shape as an aircraft carrier. The SBTF
(shore-based training facility) will be built outside the west coast port city
of Goa. This will be used to train pilots to land on carriers. India is getting
its first four MiG-29K fighters soon. These aircraft are modified to operate
from carriers. The remaining twelve MiG-29Ks will arrive by the end of 2009.
receive therefurbished Russian aircraft
carrier Gorshkov in 2012. This deal will cost $2.5 billion. Thisincludes the purchase of the poorly
maintained Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, and Russian shipyards
performing repairs, modifications and upgrades. Then there was the $800 million
cost of aircraft, weapons and equipment. Building a Gorshkovtype carrier today would cost about $4
billion, and take several years more.
Gorshkov entered service in 1987, but was inactivated in 1996, as too expensive
to operate on a post Cold War budget. The Indian deal was made in 2004, and the
carrier was to be ready by 2008. But a year ago reports began coming out of
Russia that the shipyard doing the work, Sevmash, had seriously miscalculated
the cost of the project.
refurbished, the Gorshkov, renamedINS
Vikramaditya, should be good for about 30 years of service. That's because,
after the refit, 70 percent of the ships equipment will be new, and the rest
refurbished.It will operate sixteen
navalized MiG-29 fighters, plus some helicopters. India wants the Gorshkov in
service before 2012, because that's when it's existing carrier (the 29,000 ton
INS Viraat) is to be retired. If the MiG-29K is successful on the Vikramaditya,
these aircraft will be used on other carriers India is building.