According to Leonov, works planned for March have been almost completed. Final finishing of internal premises and assembling of shipborne furniture have been executed. Tanker Chaika pumped 3,600 tons of fuel into the ship. Tugs of the yard's water transport department did their job excellently and tugged the non-ice harbor tanker aboard the carrier.
Two critical issues remained uncompleted, i.e. startup of refrigerating machines and fixture of search-and-rescue equipment. The first problem needed personnel replacements, and the second one delayed for 10 days. This was because drawings of equipment fixtures did not match those on the ship, so additional works were needed.
Late in March, a contingency happened; smoke flue of one of eight boilers was damaged. The accident causes are being currently investigated. The boiler itself and charging turbine set were not damaged and are fully serviceable. Upon delivery of new expansion joints from St. Petersburg, the smoke flue will be completely repaired till sea trials begin.
On Apr 6, the ship was transferred to deperming station; all life support systems began off-line operation. Important indicator of self-sufficiency is that crew is regularly provided with hot food. One of three shipborne cookrooms was put into operation. All 360 servicemen keeping watch on the ship get three meals a day. Works on drinking water tanks go on as well; they will be treated by ozone which is the most advanced and effective method.
Since deperming works began, daily traffic flow to the ship exceeds 3,000 persons. Working and living conditions are already established. Washrooms, shower rooms, latrines, cabins for workers and crewmembers are fully-equipped and ready for use.
According to weather forecasts, night temperatures will be below zero in April. This causes additional problems to experts involved in deperming works. Early in May, it is planned to hold heeling test to calculate the ship's stability.
Then spare parts, tools and accessories will be loaded in the ship, as well as fuel and food supplies in order to maintain sea trials.
Sevmash started arranging the carrier's trials in the White Sea. De-berthing and pilotage plans have been agreed upon with White Sea Naval Base command. Fourteen tugs will be involved to provide safe departure of INS Vikramaditya.