New Delhi, Jan 10:
After two successful sea trials, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant
, the largest warship to be built in the country, set sail for crucial sea trials ahead of its scheduled induction into the Indian Navy this year, the Defence Ministry
said. The latest trials are the third set of trials since August 2021.
Earlier, the 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier, successfully completed a five-day maiden sea voyage in August and underwent 10-day sea trials in October. "While the maiden sea trials in August last year
were to establish propulsion, navigational suite and basic operations, the second sea trial later in October-November witnessed the ship being put through its paces in terms of various machinery trials and flight trials," it added.
The warship has been built at a cost of around Rs 23,000 crore and its construction propelled India into a select group of countries having capabilities to build state-of-the-art aircraft carriers. The ship in fact was out for 10 days proving its sustenance in the very second sortie.
Various seamanship evolutions were also successfully cleared during the second sortie. Having gained adequate confidence in the ship’s abilities, the IAC now sails to undertake complex maneuvers to establish specific readings of how the ship performs in various conditions. In addition, various sensor suites of the ship would also be tested.
President Ram Nath Kovind visited the carrier in Kochi on December 22 followed by a visit by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on January 2. "After two successive high profile visits – the President and Vice President of India – within a span of fewer than two weeks, IAC Vikrant is heading out for the next set of sea trials," the Ministry said.
Also Read: 'Historic moment for India': IAC Vikrant successfully completes maiden sea voyage
Designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND), IAC Vikrant has been built at the state-owned Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). The warship will operate MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters, MH-60R multi-role helicopters and the indigenous advanced light helicopters. It has been named after the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant operated by the navy from 1961 to 1997.
Further, the Ministry said that the IAC has been a success story on numerous counts. "Be it the case of Atmanirbharta wherein 76% of the equipment is indigenously sourced or the close engagement between the Design teams of the Indian Navy and M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited – a high-point in the largest and most complex warship ever to be built in the country. That the ship has been able to carry out basic flying operations from its very first sortie itself is a landmark in Indian warship construction history," it said.
The Ministry also informed that on successful completion of a series of progressive sea trials, the ship is scheduled to be commissioned as INS Vikrant later this year, as the nation commemorates ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. IAC Vikrant has put India in a select league - only the US, the UK, Russia, France and China have the capability to build aircraft carriers.
It is 262 m long, 62 m at the widest part, and a height of 59 m including the superstructure. There are 14 decks in all, including five in the superstructure. The ship has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1700 people, having gender-sensitive accommodation spaces for women officers. The ship with high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, has been designed to accommodate an assortment of fixed wing and rotary aircraft.