India will not have an operational aircraft carrier for the next eight months.

INS Vikramaditya, a formerly Russian vessel, is currently in an ongoing refit.

Originally built as Baku and commissioned in 1987, the carrier served with the Soviet and later with the Russian Navies (as Admiral Gorshkov) before being decommissioned in 1996 as she was too expensive to operate on a post-Cold War budget.

The carrier was purchased by India in January 2004 after years of negotiations at a final price of $2.35 billion. The ship successfully completed her sea trials in July 2013 and aviation trials in September 2013.

In June 2016, while undergoing a scheduled major refit of INS Vikramaditya, two people were killed by a toxic gas leak that occurred during maintenance work in the Sewage Treatment Plant compartment of INS Vikramaditya at Karwar. Two other people were injured and taken to the naval hospital.

When her sea trials were ongoing, a Norwegian P-3 Orion aircraft observed Vikramaditya. While in international waters, it flew close to the ship to take photographs, and also dropped sonobuoys to record the ship’s acoustic signature. The Norwegian aircraft left the area when a Russian MiG-29 arrived. A Norwegian ship was also seen to observe Vikramaditya.


  1. It has been a long time between drinks but now at long last the UK is getting two brand new super carriers of the latest design I cant see it falling back from here its onward and upward for the navy and armed forces!

  2. The U.K. Has had at least one operational flat top/carrier continuously available for decades. Yes I know it’s not had embarkable fixed wing since 2011 but such a continuous and reliable capability while actually often ignored is not to be dismissed lightly. We are now only months away from having a 5th generation world beating carrier capability at sea that unlike many other nation’s carrier capabilities it will actually work and be continuously available. While India has trialled its modern carrier fast air it has yet to deploy it fully operationally, and it’s outdated Sea Harrier Mk1 capability was retired some time ago. It’s about time people starting appreciating the realities rather than just posting cheap sarcastic comments of no value or amusement.


      Not months away but years away before being operational, as indeed are the aircraft she will embark. Sea trials do not start until 2019.

      I presume the capability to which you refer is HMS Ocean, which, as a helicopter platform, is very able but cannot and does not fulfil the same role as a fast jet carrier did and will.

      Furthermore with the RAF having retired Nimrod by Government edict we also have no maritime reconnaissance capability: all in all a very sad state of affairs.

      I wholeheartedly support our armed forces of all disciplines: it is a pity that politicians all too often leave them short of the necessary tools to do their jobs thus adding greatly to the dangers these brave proud men and women face daily.

    • Thanks for that detail of which I am fully aware. My comment of “months away” was referring to the start of sea trials early next year which in itself marks a significant stage in the development of the QE class. As for you other comments re LRMPA — widening the argument is not pertinent – and that gap is also about to be filled. Yes we will not have a full carrier capability in all senses until the early 2020s but it’s certainly on its way and we ate indeed only months away from having the ability to generate some level of capability from what we will have by 2018. Given we were nearly bankrupt in 2010 the fact we have got through all this and emerging with what we will have is significant and not to be disparaged.

    • Vessels of this size 70,600 tonnes require a lot of work to fabercate and then all the testing also they are the first of there kind and lessons will be leart along the way, The F35B also all new with so much testing, it all takes time!

  3. They should never have purchased this ship , she was nearly destroyed in a fire and her cost to convert was over 2 billion.You could’ve had a brand new state of the art carrier for that money , not a 35+ year old one.The Russians kept on putting the price up during the conversion,at the time the US offered the Kitty Hawk for free on a Hot transfer if the Indians purchased F18 super Hornets, but rejected the offer

  4. Did four deployments since its commissioning back in 2014. The only time she took a break during that period was a short two month docking to get her AD SAMs and CIWS. And then she got back to rotation and lead the fleet during IFR. So just like any other aircraft carrier she needs to undergo maintenance refit. And that too just for 8 months while she will get additional SAM VLS and also will get an emergency recovery net which she lacked.

    Now thanks to the utter BS ignorance of the media, we got ourselves a very stupid title. ”India doesn’t have a carrier for 8 months”. Really??? It took a genius to figure that out??? Ya IN is not USN with multiple commands each one sporting 3-4 carriers with spare ones to substitute others when they enter drydocks. The French doesn’t have a carrier now coz CdG is undergoing a refit after her anti ISIS campaign. Doesn’t mean anything relevant. Just some naive time crunching write ups.

  5. I think ostrich people have forgotten that we have plenty of air bases around the world where we can fly fixed wing from atm, Libya for one, we used the Italian airbase but we did have the option of using cyprus


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