A rep for FGUP "Sevmash" told Interfax that they "...haven't received any changes in the technical specificaions for the Gorshkov" and that the ship "remains designated to fly the MiG-29K. As far as we know, the Indians, in addition to our aircraft, plan on flying the British Sea Harrier vertical take off and landing aircraft also."
There were rumors that the Indians would purchase American F-18 Super Hornets.
"Even if there is a similar initiative ongoing in the Indian Navy, its doubtful that its connected with the "Gorshkov". American aircraft use a catapult assisted takeoff which our ships don't have: we use a ski-ramp and planes with a short take off and landing capability - the MiG-29K."
The spokesman suggested that the Indians are possibly considering the possiblity of buying American planes for their first indigenously built carrier which is being constructed at their own shipyard in Cochin.
Earlier the Chief of Staff of the Indian Navy Admiral Surish Mehta announced that delivery of the carrier based MiG-29K interceptors intended for the Indian-purchased "Admiral Gorshkov" will begin in May 2008.
He emphasized that the contract has been executed with a slight delay. The contract, which was signed in January, 2004 for $700 million, calls for delivery of 16 carrier-borne MiG-29K/KUB interceptors (12 combat versions and four combat trainers) as well as the unique equipment and training for the aircrews and service personnel, including simulators and ground- and sea-based interactive training systems. There is also an option for further delivery of 30 aircraft in the period up to the year 2015.