India has heightened its rivalry with China by taking possession of its third aircraft carrier, a refurbished Soviet-era vessel.
The £1.4bn ($2.3bn) aircraft carrier, handed over at a north Russian shipyard, will help India to counterbalance the expansion of the Chinese navy.
The 45,000-tonne ship, built in the final years of the Soviet Union and named the Admiral Gorshkov, will be escorted by warships to India on a two-month voyage from Russia‘s northern coast. It has been renamed INS Vikramaditya.
A recent upgrade means the carrier, originally designed to carry Yak-38 vertical take-off aircraft, has been re-equipped to carry Mig-29K fighter jets. It can carry up to 30 aircraft and will have a crew of around 2,000.
China and India, the world’s most populous countries, co-existed peacefully for centuries but relations became strained after the Communist party won the Chinese civil war in 1948. There were three conflicts…
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