Tuesday, June 3, 2008

First Look - 03 June 2008

The Minesweeper “Zheleznyakov” Returns to Novorossiysk After “Black Sea Harmony”

The Novorossiysk-based minesweeper “Zhelezyakov” returned to base after completing tasks in the international operation “Black Sea Harmony”. The minesweeper steamed more than 200 miles during the exercise.

According the plan of the Russian-Turkish operation, ships from Novorossiysk regularly go to sea, patrolling in a defined area…Monthly the sailors go on watch and control the situation at sea, observing the ship traffic in the area and interrogating the ship captains on their route and reason for sailing.

Black Sea Fleet ships will continue participation in this operation in the future.

The Russian Navy Will Place $4 Mil in Orders with the Kyrgyz Company “Dastan”.

The Commander in Chief of the Russian Navy, Vladimir Vysotskiy told journalists on Friday that the Russian Navy will place defense orders with the Kyrgyz enterprise “Dastan”.

He added that “orders have been placed with the enterprise for torpedoes and equipment for underwater armaments.”

Vysotskiy emphasized that, “There aren’t any combat components or explosives in the order.”

He added that “Russia is interested in the preservation of the production process in the Kyrgyz enterprise”, and didn’t exclude the possibility of the Russian side obtaining a chunk of its shares, but he underlined that “this issue must be resolved at the inter-governmental level.”

He also said that while he was in Kyrgyzstan, he visited the Russian Navy testing facility located on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul’. He said that, “There is no place like it in the world (the test facility “IF”), and there is something to work on there. I found the conditions at the base to be satisfactory, the condition of the armament and the technical units to be good, but because of the day’s realities, the base must be modernized and developed.”

He also said that during meetings with the leadership of the Republic, the Ministry of Defense and the Kyrgyz Security Council, discussions were held about the presence of Russian military bases in Kyrgyzstan (there are three, two of which are Navy).

Inspection Results

The inspection of the work done on the repair and overhaul of the project 1143.0 ship (“Vikramaditya”, formerly the “Admiral Gorshkov”) is complete.

“We have resolved almost all technical issues during this visit”, said Vice-Admiral Dilip Deshpande, the inspection team chief and Chief of the Purchasing and Production Directorate of the Indian Joint Naval Staff.

In the ten day visit by the Indian Navy and their Russian partners – representatives of FGUP “Rosoboroneksport” and OAO (formerly FGUP) “Sevmash” – they agreed with the Indian side to inform them about additional and unaccounted for repair work, re-equipage and ship testing.

For the last six months, Russian and Indian specialists have been conducting a detailed analysis of the situation with regards to a lack of funding. “Only after we have determined the amount of work done can we begin to discuss the allocation of additional funds”, commented Deshpande. “I am happy that all technical questions have been almost resolved. Our next step – begin the financial discussions. But we need a decision about that in India. I cannot right now give an exact date for the start of the negotiations, but issues regarding the cruiser will be decided in India at all levels quickly.”

Lately the work tempo on the ship has increased. Fifteen hundred people a year work on the carrier and another 3500 work in the workshops supporting the overhaul. The General Director of Sevmash, Nikolay Kalistratov said, “But, so that this work tempo doesn’t slack, but on the contrary, that it increases, we need immediate additional financing. We have not received resources for this order since January 2007, and now we are in negotiations with the Indian side for an advance payment. As a rule, it is 20 percent of the estimated cost of the work. I hope that Vice Admiral Deshpande will deliver our position to his leadership.”

Successful resolution of all the financial issues will allow the ship to conduct sea trials in the Barents by 2011. It is planned to finish the detail work on the ship in the winter of 2012, continue trials and testing in the summer period of the same year and, according to the schedule, the ship will be ready for transfer to the Indian Navy by the end of 2012.