Indian Navy's newest warship INS Vikramaditya begins long journey home

INS VikramadityaINS Vikramaditya is India's largest warship and returning after a nine-year refit and refurbish programme. (Photo Courtesy: Oleg Kuleshov)

Less than a fortnight after it was formally commissioned in the Russian town of Severodvinsk, India's newest and largest ever warship – the INS Vikramaditya – has started on its long journey home. The aircraft carrier left the Sevmash shipyard on Tuesday – after a nine year refit and refurbish programme – and will make its way to Murmansk in Northern Russia.

The carrier, which is currently in the White Sea, will refuel in Murmansk for a few days and will be joined with a Talwar class frigate as well as refuler ship INS Deepak that will accompany it on its way to Karwar in India.

"The ship will go through three oceans and several seas to the port of Karwar in India. It is planned that the aircraft carrier will reach India in the end of January. While crossing the distance at sea the crew will check the (air) conditioning system which should be tested at full load in conditions of tropical climate in the Indian ocean," a Sevmash spokesperson said.

Besides an Indian crew that is bringing it home, the shop also has a team of shipyard specialists - 177 persons who participated in the tests of the aircraft carrier. Part of specialists team will remain in India for a year as part of the guarantee contract. A detailed service support contract for the life time of the ship – 20 to 40 years – will also be negotiated within the next year.

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