Jinxed Gorshkov Fails Trials, Delayed A Year More

In the latest in what is by far the most monumentally botched procurement by the Indian government, the Indian Navy's refurbished Russian aircraft carrier Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) has failed full-power trials in the Barents Sea, part of its full fledged sea trials phase that began in June.

Some of the 44,500-ton warship's eight boilers malfunctioned during the strenuous full-steam trials (funny, the ship was actually mothballed for sale after a boiler room incident two decades ago). The bad -- no, crushing -- news: the ship won't be commissioned into Indian service, as planned, on Dec 4, Navy Day this year. Also, there's every possibility that the latest failures will bring with them a financial cost to the Indian Navy. Since contracting, the deal price has increased almost by a factor of three.

Sources say the ship's inability to withstand a full power test puts it back by at least 10 months. That means she won't be in Indian hands, conservatively, before October 2013, just weeks short of the 10-year mark. The Indian government signed the Gorshkov refit deal in January 2004.

The deal goes into the books as perhaps one of India's most ill-conceived, mismanaged, vitiated and unlucky procurements ever. Can't wait for a national audit report on the procurement.

See also:
Video of Admiral Gorshkov's journey
- Exclusive photos from inside the Gorshkov
- 2008: Fire on Gorshkov quarterdeck

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