In a move that will significantly bolster India’s position in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Prime Minister Narendra Modi will commission the country’s first indigenously-built aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant on September 2, PTI reported. The Indian Navy took delivery of the warship, built at a cost of over Rs 20,000 crore, from Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi in July.
PM Modi will officially induct IAC Vikrant, whose construction began in 2009, to the Indian Navy at a specially arranged venue inside the Cochin Shipyard Limited, officials told PTI.
This will put India in an elite club of nations that have the capability to design and build such kind of powerful and state-of-the art warships. Only five or six nations currently have the capability of manufacturing an aircraft carrier.
IAC Vikrant had successfully completed the fourth and the final phase of the sea trials last month. The carrier is christened after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, that played a vital role in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
“The event is currently scheduled to be held on September 2 at CSL jetty. The retired staff of INS Vikrant, India’s first aircraft carrier, officials of defence, shipping ministries and the state government among others are set to participate,” officials told PTI.
Top Features Of IAC Vikrant
The 262-metre-long carrier has a full displacement of about 45,000 tonne, which is much larger and more advanced than its predecessor. The aircraft carrier is powered by four gas turbines with a total power of 88 MW and has a maximum speed of 28 knots.
MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters and MH-60R multi-role helicopters will operate from the aircraft carrier.
IAC Vikrant has over 2,300 compartments, which will accomodate a crew of around 1700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers.
The ship has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, which includes major industrial houses of the country.
With an overall indigenous content of 76 per cent, the IAC is a perfect example of the country’s quest for “self-reliant India”, the Navy had said.
The flight deck of IAC Vikrant is about the size of two football grounds and by walking through its corridors, one will cover eight kilometres.
The eight power generators onboard IAC are enough to light up Kochi city and the warship contains a dedicated hospital complex with all facilities.
The IAC is equipped with a novel aircraft-operation mode known as STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrest Landing). It uses ski-jumps to launch aircraft and has a series of ‘arrest wires’ for their recovery onboard.
(With inputs from agencies)