India’s First-Ever Aircraft Carrier Vikrant, To Be Commissioned On 2nd September

Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, on 2 September, is going to commission Vikrant — the first indigenously-built aircraft carrier of India – launching the nation into a select group of countries that will subsequently be manufacturing carriers with a displacement exceeding 40,000 tonnes.

The Vikrant is expected to set sail post commissioning, the Navy mentioned on Thursday.

The Navy further stressed that India has the capability and ecosystem to construct one more indigenous aircraft carrier. This would give the country three aircraft carriers besides INS Vikramaditya and the yet-to-be-commissioned IAC Vikrant. But, the central government’s clearance is still pending for the third one.

While five trials have been executed for Vikrant, another trial will occur in November this year. The Navy added that the Vikrant is expected to carry out the trials by the middle of 2023.

INS Vikrant
Credits: PIB

Vikrant’s keel-laying was executed in 2009, the vessel was launched in 2013 (around August), the sea trials started in 2021 (around August), and the vessel was delivered in 2022 (around July).

During a press conference on Thursday, Vice Chief of Naval Staff Satish Namdeo Ghormade mentioned that Vikrant’s commissioning was crucial in establishing India as a Blue Water Navy. He further added the aircraft carrier would ensure security and safety in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Vice Chief reportedly lauded the construction of the Vikrant and referred to it as the nation’s effort. The Vice Chief also mentioned that 18 Indian states and Union Territories supplied essential components, highlighting that Vikrant was successful with 76% indigenization.

Some cities that sent parts include Kolkata, Jalandhar, Ambala, Daman, Kota, New Delhi, and Pune.

The Navy’s Warship Design Bureau designed Vikrant. It was built at the Cochin Shipyard.

Equipped with 32 MRSAMs and a displacement of about 42,800 tonnes

The Vikrant boasts 32 Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (MRSAM). It is also loaded with AK 630 rotary canons; these are close-in weapons systems.

It will also operate on the Kavach, an Indian anti-missile naval decoy system that diverts laser-guided missiles from their precise targets.

The Vikrant comes with a capacity to hold a mix of 30 helicopters and aircraft. It has a displacement of approximately 42,800 tonnes.

The Vikrant will be able to accommodate almost 1600 crew members. It comes with a cruising speed of about 18 knots and a maximum speed of 28 knots. The maximum range is about 7,500 nm.

76% of indigenization

The Vikrant has reportedly involved more than 100 MSMEs and indigenous manufacturers of original equipment.

Besides, more than 500 subcontractors and Indian ancillary industries have been involved in the manufacturing procedure.

The Deference Research and Development Organization and the Steel Authority of India Limited developed the steel for the vessel.

The IAC’s combat management system, power distribution system, data network, electronic warfare suite, and integrated platform management system have been indigenously built.

Tata Advanced Systems built the combat management system. At the same time, Bharat Electronics helped with the electronic warfare suite and data network, the power network was by L&T, and the integrated platform management system was by Bharat Heavy Electricals.

References: The Hindu, The Print 

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