India buys Russia aircraft carrier
( 2004-01-20 11:11) (Agencies)
India and Russia expect to close a long-discussed deal on the purchase of a
Soviet-era aircraft carrier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov
India will pay Russia about $1.5 billion for the carrier Admiral Gorshkov and
28 MiG-29K fighter jets capable of being launched from the ship, Ivanov said
during a visit to the Indian capital New Delhi.
India already has one aircraft carrier, the INS Viraat, built in the 1950s as
the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes. India's leading military rival in the
region, Pakistan, has none.
Indian officials have discussed purchasing the Admiral Gorshkov for eight
years. The 45,000-tonne, 273-meter (887-foot) ship was launched in 1982 and
stricken from the Russian navy's list of active vessels in 1996.
The carrier will undergo an extensive refit before India takes possession.
Ivanov said the handover could come as late as 2008.