Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has departed for India where he will attend a meeting of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission for military-technical cooperation.
The key issues to be discussed include the refit of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, construction of frigates for India’s Navy, as well as licensed production of Russian Su-30MKI (Flanker-H) fighters and T-90S battle tanks in India, Serdyukov’s spokeswoman Irina Kovalchuk said.
She added that the commission may also discuss prospects of interaction in upgrade programs for Indian Air Force aircraft, infantry fighting vehicles and tanks and other issues.
Kovalchuk said the sides will sum up their joint activity and sign a relevant protocol.
India may seek more than $100 million in penalty payments from Russia for delays in handing over the refitted aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, India's Economic Times reported on Tuesday citing its Defense Ministry source. However, another source said New Delhi would be unlikely to impose sanctions, as “it would negatively affect bilateral military-technical cooperation.”
The carrier - already years past its original 2008 delivery date - was supposed to have been handed over on December 4, 2012, but sea trials in September revealed the ship's boilers were not fully functional. Repairs to the ship's boilers could mean the handover is delayed until fall 2013, a United Shipbuilding Corporation commission investigation said last month.
The Vikramaditya was originally built as the Soviet Project 1143.4 class aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov. The Project 1143.4 carriers and a class of destroyers with the same engines suffered a history of boiler failures during their lives.
The ship has a displacement of 45,000 tons, and an endurance of 13,500 nautical miles (25,000 km) at a cruising speed of 18 knots. It will have an air wing consisting of Russian-made MiG-29K jet fighter planes and Kamov Ka-31 early warning radar helicopters.