Monday, September 17, 2012

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

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

The incompetence goes beyond mere luck, and I like the way how your article in the BS insinuated that the Russians were at fault for an Indian decision to replace the asbestos heatproofing with firebrick.

Anonymous said...

Dasvidania INS Vikramaditya oops Vikramaditya oops Admiral Gorshkov! Anyways, you get the point!
Rust in peace !

Anonymous said...

The title soon to be taken over by MMRCA deal

hotgene said...

Some times we have to learn lessons in a hardway. Lets hope our top brass learn their lessions.

Anonymous said...

LMFAO..... this is what happens when you buy junk.

Anonymous said...

Firebreaks covering the boilers failed at maximum temperature.

Question: This aint' rocket science. There are specs for both the boilers and the bricks How the heck did they cock this up?

Anonymous said...

Right Now, Boilers on Vikramaditya which are not KVG-4 boilers but has KVG-3D boilers. India requested that boilers' thermal lining would be replaced from asbestos to brick. During trials, this turned out to be not optimal. At least, that's the going theory. Nothing official is out yet..

-----------------------

"A common one of the editions of the information about the unsuccessful sea trial of aircraft carrier is clearly exaggerated. Ship until he returned from the tests in the dock. Upon his return and check the status of the chassis can be done first conclusions" - a spokesman said."

http://www.interfax.ru/politics/news.asp?id=265941

Anonymous said...

A brand new Nimitz class aircraft carrier costs 6.2 billion dollars.I dont see any logic in paying more than 3.2 billion on piece of junk which would not last more than a few years as most of time it would be in the dock undergoing repairs.Russia learned to build carrier on Indian tax payers money.This is junk which can form a museum for school trip.

Anonymous said...

Sit, mod sit

Anonymous said...

why isn't this news on national media?

Anonymous said...

And Russia wonders why we are procuring weapons from USA instead of them. While we have respect for Russia but if this is the quality of their manufacturing then we have to wonder whether it will be better to cancel the Gorshkov and funnel the funds in our 2nd indigenous carrier.

Anonymous said...

it was far better india requested russia to build them new class of fresh 60k ton aircraft carriers and a couple of guided missile cruisers , something indian navy doesnt have, that would have been a punch package!!

the amount of time and money wasted on an old carrier , every year i hoped to see the gorshkov to be inducted and standing up for the deal india made against people pointing fingers why india spend so much money in old russian junk, but something delays it,and even if it gets inducted, doesnt india know that a brand new carrier has better lifespan, less probs and better capability than a old dying carrier? the stealth frigates india ordered from russia didnt seem to have so much probs to be built and delivered.

amit kumar said...

10 Saal mai tu naya banjata !!! or wo bhi shayad 2. This indeed a greatest example of Russian's schedule variance on delivering there export contracts.

Anonymous said...

Coughing an extra 1 billion dollar could have fetched a brand new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier. In august 2013 we will again hear that gorshkov will be delivered in 2015 and so on. Russia should be asked to return the money & sale it to the chinese like the varyag. From the begining it was said to induct LM2500 gas turbines instead of steam boilers in the carrier but no one listened, hence now face the music.

aks said...

hey hey never buy a third hand car ...never buy a third hand ship.

same principles//i wonder why the Navy never bought Ark Royal

Anonymous said...

All you Russian lovers, especially those here and on Bharat-Rakshak, start your spin fest now. Haha, what a joke. Wait till the French screw India on the Rafale. Enjoy buying these white elephants.

Abid said...

Hi Shiv, Can't India seek refund. As I have read somewhere, that 3 of the 4 boilers have failed, which resulted in low power. This ship doesn't event fit for usage by a B grade navy, leave alone the Indian Navy who is poised for sea control, theater control and power projection. Even our ex.Hercules ( Vikrant) was better off than this dud. Do you think that this will be made a stable & powerful platform after 10 months of shoddy patch work to be done by Russians??? An aircraft carrier is intended to provide 40 years of active service to its operator. It pains a lot when huge amount of tax payer's money is spent to procure a scrap like this.

Anonymous said...

Allow private players greater role in ship-building and break the monopoly of the PSUs.

The records of PSU shipbuilders in India has been far from stellar and allowing more competition will be beneficial for the forces and industry.
By this time,a private player with tech tie up would have built up a carrier ground up.

Subho said...

The quagmire is turning into a nightmare both for the Russians as well as the Indians. On the one hand its a massive loss of face for the Russian Defence establishment that is desperately trying to stay in the game in India's massive defence procurement program while on the other it deals a debilitating blow to the dreams of the Indian Navy - of fielding a true blue water capability.

This one will most definitely go down as a "lesson learnt" of epic proportions; a compendium on how NOT to do a defence deal !

Wow !

Anonymous said...

Does Indian navy really require aircraft carriers. Why not spend that procurement and operating expenditure on subs, frigates and ASW capabilities. What role did INS Vikrant play in the 1971 conflict...........a big zero!

sents said...

I have a doubt shiv, does Russia delay the deal wantedly. They don't like to give an advantage to India considering china,as their aircraft carrier is not yet commissioned. Some say that Russia will make sure chinese will have the aircraft carrier first and then they will allow us to have vikramaditya. To keep the balance in this region. As china is also one of the biggest customer of Russia. Chinese are known to play this ugly politics, buy paying Russia some kickbacks. I have this doubt for a long time, is it true? Too much delay, to occur naturally.

Harpreet said...

Sir, Any update on J-31. Chinese new stealth weapon??

pankaj said...

india will prepare for with A/C CArrer because of only russia when china sent his A.C CARRER in indian ocean or karichi port for power projection and prepration 2-3 carrer, russia our frind but its supply material delay aginst other country just like USA c-130 j arrive right time in india and show its power in earth quick in sikkim,italy supply tanker ship who deliver 3-4 month ago ,p-8 process is very fast so russia think about potantial market where frindship r not compelsory and india rethink about foture purchase when india joint venture with french or british about A/C CARRER BUILDING i think its deliver 8 month ago

debadutta said...

we should now looking for kitty hawk or queen Elizabeth..

Anonymous said...

And this is what we say BULLSHIT!!!

Anonymous said...

If we started to build one indigenously in 2004, i am sure it would have been ready by now!!!

Anonymous said...

India - can't build carriers at home and can't get carriers built abroad!!

How do people who call themselves "professionals" and "engineers" install equipment that hasn't been tested on dry land on a ship ?? Even a slum mechanic knows that you test a part before installing it!

The Vikramaditya project looks like it's being run by the three stooges!

Saxena said...

This is another scam that needs to be investigated. Either its a real scam or the Indian Navy guys are big duds to have selected this ship.
Worse I suspect it could be both.

Mr. RA said...

This type of technical error can not generally occur till someone involved is either a Big Fool or a Chino agent.

Anonymous said...

What are they waiting for?
the ship to sink to bottom of sea to prove once n for all that its no good

why dont they put the money to better use

Anonymous said...

This is going to be a landlubber patch here a band aid there carrier, a shipyard worker's delight since it'll ensure his job security.

I hope someone in NHQ did the life cycle costing of this leaky rust bucket.The CAG might as well depute a team on permanent deployment on board this ship right away along with the commissioning crew because the meter will start running the moment she gets the INS tag. First it was cabling, now furnace bricks next god knows what.
Isn't it a modern marvel that she still floats !

Anonymous said...

The present UPA2 played its most drastic role in neutralizing India's ability to become a super power by ignoring visionary generals & projecting false progress to Indians in terms of India's defense capabilities over the last decade.While China went ahead with modernizing its defense forces to cutting edge standards (challenging superpowers), India has been busy pacifying its Arab donors and party fund raisers by making defunct purchases, not furthering an arms race with cash strapped Pakistan,muffling its armed forces generals into not speaking out to the media...etc. It was long recommended to modernize the Indian navy with a modern fleet of submarine, the need of the hour... instead of going in for a Large footprint target like an aircraft carrier. India's reluctance to ally itself with the US Forces in the East Asian theatre will be India's biggest shortcoming in future wars, as increasingly hostile neighbors will play havoc by playing host to any country threatening India with the provision of landbased bases ...negating any need for Aircraft carriers.

Anonymous said...

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Ram said...

Annonymous @11:
Please read about Indo Pak conflict of 1971 before concluding that INS Vikranth did a "zero".

Yes the Russians are living off on the money being paid by India on Vikramaditya. The entire contract seems to be monumentally defective right from day one. I guess had the same amount been spent on indigenous carries we would have hada decent one ready for launch in a year. ALl we need for the Vikramaditya now is the betal. !!!:)

Anonymous said...

Best option, take delivery of the ship as it is, and then make the necessary corrections/modifications. Allowing the Russians to get their way in this deal will only mean endless delays and cost escalations.

At times these "failures" seem deliberate at the behest of players behind the curtain.

pankaj said...

india should take delivery of carrer and contract with itly or franch company for engine supply for career grade oh shit italy carrer or british carrer(queen elizabeh)engine r fulfill V I K A R A M A D I T Y A power requirement or 2nd option USS KITTY HAWK ENGINE PURCHASE,IN this process clear russian engineering capability 3rd class and question rise why India not permission ASBASTOS for boiler,USA HAD LOT OF experience about a/c carrer so consult with that problem, its navy use ASBASTE OR OTHER MATERIOL FOR boiler,3 rd option India demand money and not take delivery get fast process for 2 vishal carrer in pipva yard

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but what did you expect from the Russians? These are the people who had to buy their amphibious assault ships from abroad. Those Mistrals are products of COTS commercial off the shelf systems. Did you really expect the Russians to be able to manage to perform the complex task of refurbishing an aircraft carrier? Without their Ukraine shipyards, the Russians are only slightly better than India.

Anonymous said...

Long back i was speaking to a worker in India who works for Boiler company said that the Russian companies purchase boilers from India for use in companies but not from Russia god knows why.

Anonymous said...

Well, who is to blame here, Indians ? Russians ? or worse, some external power ?. What I think is that if we would had invested same amount on designing a framework for future Indian carriers(Like a series; Nimitz for example), and made carriers in out own pace(using PSUs and Private sector at the same time), this would have been benefited us more than buying/constructing three different classes of carriers and then spending different amount of expertise and cash to maintain them. Oh well, What can the aam adami do here ? He can just see his tax going to waste; Do the government will be ever answerable to them or will they just shoo off saying that "we" don't have any right to instruct them how things work. Only god can save this country; not even its people can do that now.

Anonymous said...

The Indian Navy has long been praised in this forum for its 'excellent' procurement process and 'professional' attitude towards weapons development. Deafening silence regarding this piece of crap that they bought from the Russians. In their headlong unthinking rush to try and become a blue water navy and try and operate as many aviation assets as possible, the navy is bypassing basics. Caveat emptor !

Anonymous said...

Now who is jinxed shiv :
http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/ins-vikramaditya-trials-termed-successful/article3958345.ece

Anonymous said...

W ht is the reason for the indians looking at 18 carrier helicopters versus 4-6 on the US Gerald Ford class carriers.

Anonymous said...

Who should be shot for the disaster that is Gorshkov?? Give out the names of the guilty!