India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to hand over the first indigenous aircraft carrier dubbed ‘INS Vikrant’ on Friday to the Navy. It is, until now, the largest vessel to be ever built in the Indian maritime history.
INS Vikrant has been developed with indigenous state-of-the-art automatic equipment. It has reportedly been built at a cost of about Rs 20,000 crore at the country’s Cochin Shipyard. At the event, PM Modi also introduced a new naval flag, in line with India’s maritime heritage, leaving behind the country’s colonial past.
Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, Indian Navy’s Vice Chief, had earlier mentioned that INS Vikrant is going to contribute to establishing stability and peace in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean zones.
The vice chief mentioned that INS Vikrant is going to start in November 2022 and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2023. The MiG-29 jets are expected to be functional from the warship for the initial years. The commissioning of INS Vikrant will be a crucial step toward the country’s self-reliance within the defense sector.
With Vikrant in service, India will be part of a select group of nations like the US, the UK, Russia, China, and France that have the capability to indigenously build and design an aircraft carrier. The warship was built with indigenous machinery and equipment supplied by India’s top-notch industrial houses and a hundred Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Video Credits: PMO India / YouTube
Why the warship was named Vikrant?
Along with Vikrant, India is going to have two aircraft carriers providing service, which are expected to strengthen the maritime security of the country. Designed by Warship Design Bureau (WDB), and constructed by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a well-known public-sector shipyard with the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, the indigenous aircraft carrier is named after the illustrious predecessor ‘Vikrant’ of the country’s first-ever aircraft carrier that played a crucial role in the 1971 war. Vikrant means brave and victorious. The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier’s foundation was laid in April (2005) by formal steel cutting. A special kind of steel is required to build an aircraft carrier that is known as Warship Grade Steel (WGS).
How was Vikrant built?
Taking the indigenization drive forward, the warship-grade steel required for manufacturing the IAC was manufactured successfully by the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in association with the Indian Navy and the Defense Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL). After this, the vessel’s shell (framework) progressed, and in February (2009), the construction of the vessel’s Pathan (nautal, keel) started i.e., the process of building the warship proceeded.
A feature-packed aircraft carrier
The first phase of shipbuilding was executed in August 2013 with the launch of the vessel. INS Vikrant measured 262 meters in length and 62 meters in width. It has the capability to cover a range of 18 nautical miles to 7,500 nautical miles.
The ship has about 2,200 rooms, designed for almost 1,600 crew members. It includes special cabins meant for women sailors and officers. The aircraft carrier boasts a high degree of automation needed in machinery operations, ship navigations, and survivability and is equipped with state-of-the-art systems and equipment.
The vessel boasts a state-of-the-art medical complex with the latest medical facilities and equipment, including modular OTs, emergency modular OTs, CT scanners, physiotherapy clinics, X-ray machines, ICUs, laboratories, a dental complex, telemedicine facilities, and isolation wards are included.
It can operate an air wing comprising 30 aircraft, including indigenously built Advanced Light Helicopters and Light Combat Aircraft besides MiG-29K fighter jets, MH-60R, and Kamov-31 multirole helicopters. The weight of the vessel is about 45,000 tons.
References: India TV News, City Today
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