NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to commission India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier ‘
‘ in Kochi on September 2.
According to government officials, the Prime Minister was briefed on the capabilities of the carrier.
The Vikrant is the largest-ever warship built in India and would be a landmark event for the navy and the country, they said.
“Vikrant is a true manifestation of
, built with 76 per cent indigenous components,” Southern Naval Commander Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi said while speaking about the biggest ever
in the country.
Vikrant is designed by the
‘s in-house Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built by CSL, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, the carrier is christened after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’ which played a vital role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
“The impending commissioning of the indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is indeed historic as it gives us the ability as a country to join a few select nations which are able to design and construct aircraft carriers. The Navy’s in-house design directorate designed the ship and it has been built by Cochin Shipyard Limited here at Kochi. And indeed, it’s a true manifestation of Atmanirbhar Bharat. About 76 per cent of the cost of the ship by way of equipment and services is entirely indigenous,” Vice Admiral Hampiholi told ANI.
The 262-meter-long carrier has a full displacement of close to 45,000 tonnes which is much larger and more advanced than her predecessor.
Speaking about the specifications of IAC Vikrant, Vice Admiral Hampiholi said: “Vikrant carries a mix of about 30 aircraft. It could fly the
MiG 29k fighter aircraft
in anti-air, anti-surface and land attack roles. It will be able to operate the Kamov 31 which is an early air warning helicopter, the recently inducted but yet-to-be commissioned MH-60R which is a multi-role helicopter as also our very indigenous ALH. It displaces about 45,000 tonnes which is definitely the largest warship in the Indian naval inventory.”
With Vikrant, India has joined a select group of nations having the niche capability to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier.
IAC Vikrant consist of 14 decks with 2,300 compartments which can carry around 1,500 sea warriors and to cater to the food requirements, around 10,000 chapatis or rotis are made in the ship’s kitchen, which is called the ship’s galley.
Hampiholi said: “Just to give an idea the amount of steel which has been used in the ship is enough to perhaps make four Eiffel Towers. The ship’s cabling runs almost about 2,400 kilometres which is roughly the distance between Kochi to Delhi. Each of these MIG 29K aircraft weigh as much as about two African elephants and indeed, I must also mention that the ship generates enough electricity perhaps to power a small town and these are the kinds of specifications which we tried to relate ordinarily. But definitely, it can travel close to about 27-28 knots. And as I said most of the equipment onboard the ship is indigenous.”
Highlighting the possible role of the Vikrant, Vice Admiral mentioned the carrier can be utilized to project power to ensure safety and security on the high seas and also provide credible deterrence with extreme visibility.
“Most important facet of the carrier is the fact that like any other warship it can discharge a variety of roles that it is mandated. Be it diplomatic, be benign, when I mean benign, I mean humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations, constabulary as also the military role. The ship can like any other warship be utilized to project power to ensure safety and security at high seas and also provide credible deterrence with extreme visibility. I would say that a carrier battle group that is a squad of a carrier along with a carrier which is centered on INS Vikrant background will provide Indian Navy extreme flexibility sustainance and reach for the accomplishment of missions in the Indian Ocean region with persistence and presence definitely it’s a big shot in the arm,” he added.
Hampiholi said Vikrant will give the impetus to further Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of security and growth for all in the region (SAGAR) and added,” it would also give impetus to be the first responder as also the preferred security partner in our immediate maritime neighbourhood.”
Vikrant has been built with a high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, and has been designed to accommodate an assortment of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.
Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as STOBAR (Short Take-Off but Arrested Landing), the IAC is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft, and a set of ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery onboard.
The ship has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, involving major industrial houses in the country such as BEL, BHEL, GRSE, Keltron, Kirloskar, Larsen & Toubro, Wartsila India etc as well as over 100 MSMEs. The indigenisation efforts also led to development of ancillary industries, besides the generation of employment opportunities and bolstering plough back effect on the economy, both locally as well as pan-India.