Pictured on the carrier's deck at the Sevmash dockyard in Severodvinsk, northern Russia during November, aircraft Side 311 was deployed using a crane to serve as a mock-up only.
According to Sevmash, the Vikramaditya will start sea trials in May 2012, with these to involve take-offs and landings using two industry-owned aircraft. One is a purpose-built MiG-29K, while the other is a MiG-35D two-seat demonstrator now being modified after the crash of a MiG-29KUB trainer during trials in 2011.
Originally introduced to service with the Russian navy in 1987 as the Baku, but deactivated in 1992, the modified Vikramaditya now features a "ski-jump" ramp and three arrestor wires to support fighter operations. New Delhi's total investment in the ship is worth around $2 billion, with Sevmash expecting it to be commissioned into service on 4 December 2012 - Indian navy day.
Russia has so far delivered 11 of the 16 MiG-29K/KUBs ordered for the Indian navy under a 2003 deal worth $530 million, with the remainder due to be shipped to Goa before the end of 2011.
India also this year firmed up an option for 29 more navalised MiG-29s to equip its future homegrown aircraft carriers.