The Straits Times
Published on Oct 10, 2012

Russia further delays delivery of aircraft carrier to India


NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Russia delayed delivery of a trouble-plagued aircraft carrier for at least a year on Friday, a blow to India's efforts to quickly build up naval strength as increasingly assertive Asian rival China expands its maritime reach.

Originally built as the Admiral Gorshkov in the Soviet Union, the US$2.3 billion (S$3 billion) aircraft carrier is being reconditioned and was due to be ready this year, but problems with the ship's boilers have pushed the delivery date back several times.

"We believe the handover of the ship will take place in the fourth quarter of 2013," Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said at a joint news conference with his Indian counterpart in New Delhi.

Indian Defence Minister A K Antony said he had conveyed "serious concern" at the delays to Mr Serdyukov. The bilateral meeting precedes a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi on Nov 1.