Russia 090421 Basic Political Developments

Russia confirms Admiral Gorshkov delivery to India in 2012

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Russia confirms Admiral Gorshkov delivery to India in 2012

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will deliver the modernized Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier to the Indian Navy in 2012, a senior shipbuilding industry official has said.

"Under an agreement with India, the aircraft will be delivered in 2012. Almost 2,000 highly-qualified workers are currently involved in the overhaul [of the ship]," Vladimir Pakhomov, the president of Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation, said in an interview published on Tuesday with the Vremya Novostei newspaper.

"We will increase the number of workers and speed up the work, making sure that it does not affect the quality. We are continuing talks with Indian officials about the additional financing of the project," he added.

The original $750 million 2004 contract between Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport and the Indian Navy envisioned that work on the aircraft carrier would be completed in 2008.

However, Russia later claimed it had underestimated the scale and the cost of the modernization and demanded an additional $1.2 billion, which New Delhi said was "exorbitant."

After long-running delays and disputes, Russia and India agreed in February 2008 to raise retrofit costs for the aircraft carrier, docked at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia for the past 12 years, by at least $800 million.

The current contract covers a complete overhaul of the ship and equipping it with modern weaponry, including MiG-29K Fulcrum aircraft and Ka-27 Helix-A and Ka-31 Helix-B anti-submarine helicopters.

The Admiral Gorshkov carrier, renamed the Vikramaditya, is to replace India's INS Viraat carrier, which, although currently operational, is now 50 years old.

After modernization, the carrier is expected to be seaworthy for 30 years.

NGO: India to keep buying Russian jets
Published: April 20, 2009 at 5:33 PM

MOSCOW, April 20 (UPI) -- A Russian think tank forecasts India will be the main buyer of Russia's combat aircraft for the next 15 years.

The Center for Analysis and Technologies predicts India will purchase as many as 90 Su-30MKI fighters under existing contracts, and possibly buy more Su-30 or modernized MiG-29K aircraft, as well, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

Russia also is looking to sell 126 MiG-35 Fulcrum fighter jets to the Indian air force.

In March 2008, Russian signed a contract with the Indian Defense Ministry to upgrade about 70 MiG-29 fighters and agreed to develop a fifth-generation fighter in concert with India.

Meanwhile, a military expert denies Russia is selling its newest model shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile launcher to Venezuela.

Anatoly Aksenov, a senior adviser to Russian arms export monopoly Rosoboronexport, said older models have long been in service with the Venezuela military.

"They were supplied to the Venezuelan side a long time ago and have been shown (at a military parade in Venezuela)," he said.

In recent years Venezuela has purchased more than $4 billion worth of armaments from Russia.

Russian army in North Caucasus receives new attack helicopters

ROSTOV-ON-DON, April 21 (RIA Novosti) - The first six Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters have been delivered to Russia's North Caucasus military district, a military source said on Tuesday.

"The first six Mi-28N helicopters have been put in service with combat units [in North Caucasus]," the source told RIA Novosti, without specifying the schedule for further deliveries.

The Mi-28N is the latest modification of the Mi-28 attack helicopter, manufactured by the Rostvertol plant in southern Russia. It has been designed to conduct hunter-killer missions against main battle tanks, helicopters, ground forces, and armor in any weather conditions.

The Night Hunter is powered by two TV3-117VMA turbo-shaft engines with 2,200 shaft horsepower each. The armored cockpit protects the crew from small-arms fire and absorbs the impact energy during emergency landings, ensuring high survivability.

Its combat range with internal fuel tanks is 450 kilometers (about 280 miles), but with external fuel tanks can be extended to 1,100 km (about 680 miles).

Russia's Defense Ministry has said it is planning to procure between 45 and 67 Mi-28Ns in the next few years, and to fully replace the Mi-24 Hind helicopters in the Armed Forces by 2015.

Georgian spy busted in Sochi – FSB

21 April, 2009, 11:29

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has caught a Georgian spy operating in the city of Sochi.

The man named as Mamuka Maisuradze is an employee of Georgia’s foreign intelligence service, a source in the FSB told the media.

The man was organising an informant network in the Krasnodar region and its capital Sochi. Among the intelligence he was collecting were the plans for the Olympic Games, which Sochi will host in 2014.

FSB said the spy arrived in Russia in mid-2007 under the cover of a Ukrainian citizen. In Sochi, he owned an internet-café, which helped him keep in contact with his commanding officers.

Maisuradze already confessed to working for Georgian intelligence, and gave out his contacts in Russia, according to the FSB.

The source in the Russian security service pointed out that they had information on the spy dating back to 2000, when he was dealing with militants in the troubled region of the Northern Caucasus. He was helping them in acquiring military uniforms, explosives, and communication equipment.

Now Maisuradze will be expelled from Russia.

FSB cuts operation of Georgian intelligence in Russia

MOSCOW, April 21 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) “exposed and busted the operation of an officer of the Georgian intelligence service who illegally wormed his way into Russia for intelligence and other subversive activities”, a representative of the FSB told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

The FSB reported the arrest of a career officer of the Georgian special service of foreign intelligence Mamuke Maisuradze who was engaged, on orders of his superiors, “in creating a network of agents in the Krasnodar Territory”.

“In 2007, he arrived in the Russian resort city of Sochi as an Ukrainian national and started his own private business according to a prepared legend,” the FSB specified.

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