India will not be able to take delivery of aircraft carrier Vikrant due to delays in securing aviation equipment for the ship, according to local media.
INS Vikrant is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India.
The Financial Express cited Indian Defence Minister Sripad Naik as saying that “issues with the delivery of aviation equipment from Russia” was the cause. However, Russian media outlet TASS later quoted an ‘anonymous Russian source’ saying Moscow has yet to receive any order for new MiG-29K carrier-borne fighters.
“Russia is waiting for a request from the Indian Defense Ministry for the delivery of deck-based MiG-29K fighters for the Vikrant. That is why, it is not quite correct to claim that the delivery of the aircraft carrier to the Indian Navy is being delayed because of Russia. The Indian side has not yet issued even a call to bid in a tender for the supply of deck-based aircraft, although the Indian side made the relevant inquiry back in 2017.”
So it’s somewhat unclear what is actually happening.
The ship’s completion and commissioning had been delayed several times. She was originally intended to be delivered in December 2010 and commissioned in 2016. This however was later postponed, with sea trials to begin in 2017 and commissioning planned for 2018.
Now, should all go to plan, Vikrant will be fully operational by 2022.