Cabinet clears $2.35 bn for Russian aircraft carrier

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 10, 2010 18:20 hrs

A cabinet panel Wednesday cleared the $2.35 billion fresh price for the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov that India has purchased from Russia, an official said. The clearance comes a day before Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrives here on a two-day visit.

'The cabinet committee on security (CCS) has given its approval to the fresh price for Gorshkov,' a defence ministry official said.

The long-delayed re-negotiated pact for the carrier, re-named INS Vikramaditya, will be among defence deals worth $4 billion that are expected to be finalized during Putin's two-day visit.

The warship, originally purchased for $1.5 billion, is currently undergoing a refit at Russia's Sevmash shipyard. Of this, $974 million was meant for the refit and the balance for a squadron of MiG-29K combat jets that will be deployed on the vessel.

Citing additional costs for the refit, Moscow had jacked up the price to $2.9 billion. New Delhi wanted the price to be scaled back to $2.1 billion.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during his visit to Moscow last December, also pushed for the finalisation of the fresh price.

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