INDIA. Mumbai: The first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) “Vikrant” will be commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a glittering function at Cochin Shipyard at Kochi in Kerala on September 02, Friday.
With the commissioning of ‘Vikrant’, India would join the select group of nations having the niche capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier, which will be a real testimony to the Make in India thrust of the Government of India, an official statement said.
Designed by the Warship Design Bureau (WDB), the Indian Navy’s in-house organization, and built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a Public Sector Shipyard under the Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, the indigenous Aircraft Carrier has been named after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first Aircraft Carrier which played a vital role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
The ship would be capable of operating an air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising MiG-29K, Kamov-31 fighters, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to in-house manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy).
Using the aircraft’s new operational mode known as short take-off but held recovery (STOBAR), the IAC is equipped with a jump-bridge to launch the aircraft and a set of three “arrest wires” to recover them on board. Aircraft landing trials aboard INS Vikrant will begin in November and will be completed by mid-2023.
The 262 m long and 62 m wide Vikrant displaces approx 43000 T when fully loaded, having a maximum designed speed of 28 Knots with an endurance of 7500 nautical miles. The ship has around 2200 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1600 that include specialized cabins to accommodate women officers and sailors.
The carrier is designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operations, ship navigation, and survivability. The carrier is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art equipment and systems.
The ship boasts of a fully-fledged state-of-the-art Medical Complex with the latest medical equipment facilities that include major modular OT, emergency modular OT, physiotherapy clinic, ICU, laboratories, CT scanner, X-Ray machines, Dental complex, Isolation ward, telemedicine facilities, etc.
Vikrant meaning victorious and gallant, the foundation for prestigious IAC was firmly established in Apr 2005 by ceremonial Steel Cutting. To push the indigenization drive, the Warship grade steel required for the construction of IAC was successfully indigenized through the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in collaboration with the Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Indian Navy. Built at an overall cost of close to Rs 20,000 crore, the carrier’s keel was laid in February 2009, followed by its launch in August 2013.
In line with the prevailing practices being followed by other advanced countries having experience in building Aircraft Carrier, the deck integration trials of fixed-wing aircraft and exploitation of Aviation Facility Complex will be carried out post commissioning of the ship when the operational command & control of the ship including flight safety is with the Navy.
“Vikrant” has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, involving major industrial houses in the country viz. BEL, BHEL, GRSE, Keltron, Kirloskar, L&T, Wartsila India etc. as well as over 100 MSMEs located in nearly 18 states.
The indigenization efforts have also led to the development of ancillary industries, besides the generation of employment opportunities for 2000 Cochin Shipyard Limited personnel and about 13000 employees in ancillary industries thus bolstering a plough back effect on Nation’s economy.
Indigenous content of the project is approx. 76%, which is a shining example of the Nation’s quest for ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ and the ‘Make in India’ Initiative.
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