New Delhi: The Indian Navy Thursday received the delivery of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier— Vikrant — joining a list of select few countries to have this capability. The carrier is built with a 76 per cent indigenisation component.
Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) ‘Vikrant’ delivered to #IndianNavy by @cslcochin following extensive user acceptance trials.
A momentous day in the Indian Maritime History & indigenous shipbuilding coinciding with #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav.#AatmanirbharBharat @DefenceMinIndia pic.twitter.com/KADoss93zn
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) July 28, 2022
The aircraft carrier was built and delivered to the Indian Navy by Cochin Shipyards Limited (CSL) — a public sector shipyard, under the Ministry of Shipping — and designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND). It has been named Vikrant after its predecessor — built in the UK — which had played a pivotal role in the 1971 war.
The Vikrant will soon be commissioned into the Indian Navy as Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant and will significantly enhance the Indian Navy’s presence in the Indian Ocean Region, specifically as it aims to develop into a blue-water Navy, said the Navy Thursday.
A blue-water navy is one which can operate globally, across vast deep waters of different oceans.
The Navy added that the carrier is 262 meters long and has a full displacement of 45,000 tonnes. The aircraft carrier has a top speed of 28 knots, and is powered by gas turbines with a total capacity of 88 Mega Watts.
The Vikrant has been built through three phases of cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and the CSL. The first phase was completed by 2007, the second in December 2014, and the last in October 2019. It has been constructed at a cost of approximately Rs. 20,000 crores.
‘Equipment, machinery from major industrial houses’
With the delivery of Vikrant, India is now part of a list of select few nations — such as the United States and China — which have the capacity to build indigenous aircraft carriers.
The Vikrant will be capable of operating an air wing consisting of 30 aircraft. These can include MIG-29K fighter jets, the Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy), said the Indian Navy.
According to the Navy, the 76 per cent indigenisation component is composed of equipment and machinery from major industrial houses like Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Keltron, Kirloskar, Larsen & Toubro, and Wartsila India, amongst others. A hundred MSMEs have also contributed parts, according to the Navy. The indigenisation efforts have also led to the development of ancillary industries, besides the creation of employment opportunities, according to the Navy.
Multiple design iterations, including the use of 3D virtual reality models and advanced engineering software, were used by the Directorate of Naval Design in developing the carrier. CSL also upgraded their shipbuilding infrastructure to build the Vikrant.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)