INS Vikramaditya, the former Soviet heavy aircraft carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov will take over as the flagship of the Indian navy after INS Viraat R22 retires in 2016. She started her life as an aircraft carrying cruiser named Baku. She had heavy armament on the bow while the angled deck was used for air ops. Her aviation facilities would be used by Yak-38s and naval helicopters. She was renamed as Admiral Gorshkov in 1991. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, she was deactivated and offered for sale. India grabbed the deal and after a billion dollar refit she entered Indian service in 2013. She will continue to serve the Indian navy for decades. In this picture post we will track her life using pictures.
PCU Vikramaditya started sea trials in mid 2012, 4 years behind schedule. Her boilers malfunctioned during the sea trials and another year of delay was added. She cleared her second sea trials successfully and was commissioned into the Indian navy on 16th of Nov 2013.
She began her 10,000NM journey home on 27th of November 2013. She started from Murmansk along with INS Tarkash and INS Deepak, went through the English channel, entered the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar. She was joined by INS Delhi in Gibraltar. The flotilla then entered Arabian sea through the Suez canal where they met INS Viraat and her CBG. The two carriers have been operating together ever since.
INS Vikramaditya took her air wing and demonstrated its capabilities to the Indian Prime Minister during his visit to the carrier. The carrier is now combat capable and the recent refit which added Barak-1 and Ak-630 CIWS will improve her self defense capability manifold. She will be the sole carrier for 2 years after the retirement of Viraat but will be supplemented by INS Vikrant from 2018.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi onboard Vikramaditya
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