After a year-long war of words, India has decided to re-negotiate with Russia its USD 1.5 billion deal for Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier that is to be inducted into the Navy as INS Vikramaditya.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that met on Tuesday gave its seal of approval to the Defence Ministry to strike a deal for the additional cost for the refit and repair of the 44,500-tonne warship scheduled to join the Indian Navy fleet by 2012.
The negotiations to arrive at a consensus with the Russians over their demand for additional USD 2 billion would be completed within three months, the CCS decided at the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence.
The decision comes ahead of Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev's state visit to New Delhi tomorrow. Both India and Russia had decided during the latter's Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov's visit in September that they would finalise the renegotiation before Medvedev's visit.
New Delhi has already paid the USD 1.5 billion for the repair and refit work that is currently in progress at the Sevmash Shipyard in northern Russia. The deal, signed in March 2004, also comprised of MiG-29K fighters and Kamov anti-submarine helicopters, the air element of the carrier.
While India had wanted to induct the warship, to be the largest in its inventory, in 2009, the delay in the works on the aircraft carrier had forced it rescheduled its induction by 2012.