The delay in the delivery of the aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya (the Russian Gorshkov), due to problems with the ceramic bricks used to line the boiler detected during its sea trials, has evoked frustration and disappointment from the Indian Navy and the defense ministry.
Problems with the boilers of the aircraft carrier were reported last September during its sea trials, which were said by Defense Minister A.K. Antony to require six months for rectification.
But some officials, in hindsight, are now relieved that this major problem has surfaced at this stage. “Of course, we don’t like that it’s been delayed, and for such a major reason. But the good thing is it’s happened now, before being handed over to us,” said one naval officer, “I’m not sure what we would have been able to do if it had happened once we took over.”
Less than two weeks before the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India, Antony also told Parliament on Wednesday, “Liquidated Damages (LD) clause for delays in delivery is incorporated in the contract. As per contract, LD is to be ascertained and levied within six months of ship’s delivery.”