Update: Vikramaditya begins sea trials at the White Sea

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Five years after it was originally due to be delivered, and more than twice over budget, the Russian aircraft carrier Vikramaditya refurbished by the Russians for the Indian Navy has set sail wednesday for final sea trials prior to handover.

The trials in the White Sea will continue for about 25 days and include the testing of maneuverability and other technical characteristics of the vessel. After that, the Carrier will sail to the Barents Sea, for further tests including aircraft operations, including MiG-29K naval fighter aircraft and naval helicopters would. A final report concluding the sea trials is expected before October 15, 2013, shortly before the handover of the carrier to the Indian Navy.

The Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov), has been refitted at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia, is due to he handed over in fall this year. A mixed Russian-Indian crew is on board the warship, while the Indian sailors learn how to operate the vessel.

Vikramaditya at sea on its second sea trials late 2012. Photo: Maksim Vorkunkov via Flickr.
Vikramaditya at sea on its second sea trials late 2012. Photo: Maksim Vorkunkov via Flickr.