The Indian government's security committee has approved the allocation of $2.3 billion to retrofit the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier (INS Vikramaditya), the IANS news agency reported Thursday.
The initial refit agreement of $750 million went up by an additional $1.5 billion. In line with the contract, the aircraft carrier will be handed over to India by 2012.
"The cabinet security committee has approved the Gorshkov's new price," the agency quoted an unnamed Indian defense official as saying.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's two-day visit to India starts Thursday. He is expected to sign the additional contract for the Admiral Gorshkov upgrade.
The Admiral Gorshkov is a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier, originally named Baku. The ship was laid down in 1978 at the Nikolayev South shipyard in Ukraine, launched in 1982, and commissioned with the Soviet Navy in 1987.
It was renamed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1994, following a boiler room explosion, the Admiral Gorshkov sat in dock for a year for repairs. In 1995 it briefly returned to service and in 1996 was finally withdrawn and put up for sale.
The ship has a displacement capacity of 45,000 tons. It has a maximum speed of 32 knots and an endurance of 13,500 nautical miles (25,000 km) at a cruising speed of 18 knots.
India has a long history of defense relations with Moscow. The current cooperation program comprises about 200 joint projects, including the modernization of the Vikramaditya for the Indian Navy, the transfer of technology for the licensed assembly of T-90 tanks in India, the production of BrahMos missiles and the purchase of Smerch MLRS by India.
NEW DELHI, March 11 (RIA Novosti)