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Second Indian Carrier Completes Sea Trials

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INS Vikramaditya in June 2012. Sevmash Photo

INS Vikramaditya in June 2012. Sevmash Photo

India’s second aircraft has completed successful sea trials ahead of a planned delivery by the end of the year, according to Indian press reports.

The former Russian Kiev-class carrier INS Vikramaditya achieved 32 knots during the trials in the Barents Sea last week.

The successful tests follow failures during a late 2012 test in which a problem in the ship’s boilers sent the ship back to the yard for more repairs pushing the delivery of the ship an additional year.

Estimates place the cost of the ship at $2.3 billion, according to India Today.

“The Vikramaditya, a heavily modified Kiev class, was built between 1978 and 1982 and served with the Soviet and then Russian navies. It was originally designed as a heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser, a distinctively Soviet class of warship more akin to a floating tank than a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier,” wrote USNI News contributor Mark Adomanis in October.

When the ship enters the Indian Navy, it will likely be the fleet’s flag ship INS Viraat — the former U.K. Royal Navy HMS Hermes.