New Delhi : Today is a historic day for the Indian Navy, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant to the nation as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
INS Vikrant is a shining example of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ with more than 76 percent indigenous components. The warship will give India a boost in the Indian Ocean Region and Indo-Pacific region as well as provide anti-submarine warfare capability to the Navy. With the induction of Vikrant in the Indian fleet, the Indian Navy will become one of the top three navies in the world in the coming years.
Full use of indigenous material:
The indigenous design of the aircraft carrier with more than 76 percent indigenous material and equipment, manufactured at Cochin Shipyard Limited for the Indian Navy, is a great example for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ initiative. This has enhanced India’s indigenous design and manufacturing capabilities. India has now joined a select club of countries including the US, UK, Russia, China and France that have designed and built aircraft carriers of over 40,000 tonnes.
Indian Navy gets strengthened:
The induction of INS Vikrant into the Indian Navy at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi on Friday will see an unprecedented rise in India’s maritime power. The country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’ weighing 40,000 tonnes has successfully completed all four sea trials. In December, 2020, the aircraft carrier was completely successful in the basin trials conducted by Cochin Shipyard Limited. The first test was completed on August 21, 2021, the second on October 21 and the third on January 22 this year. The last and fourth sea trials of Vikrant were started in May, which have been successfully completed.
India to be among the top three navies of the world:
With the induction of INS Vikrant into the Indian fleet, the Indian Navy will become one of the top three navies in the world in the coming years. ₹20,000 crore have been spent in its construction, the project has been carried forward in three phases of contract between the Ministry of Defence and Cochin Shipyard Limited, which took place in May 2007, December 2014 and October 2019, respectively. The Naval Design Directorate has designed it using 3D virtual reality models and advanced engineering software.
Navy to get anti-submarine warfare capability:
During construction the aircraft carrier’s design was changed from 37,500 tonnes to over 40,000 tonnes. Similarly, the length of the ship became 262.5 meters and 61.6 meters wide. The Kamov Ka-31 fitted in it will fulfill the airborne early warning role and the ship built in India will provide anti-submarine warfare capability to the Navy. The combat capability, reach and versatility of the aircraft carrier will add tremendous capabilities to the country’s defence and will help safeguard India’s interests in the maritime domain.
‘Vikrant’ equipped with modern technology:
India is making rapid progress day by day in the field of defence self-reliance. From modernisation of the army to increasing the availability of weapons and equipment equipped with new technologies, the central government is committed. The ship will be capable of operating an air wing of 30 indigenously built Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) besides MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters. The warship is equipped with a ski-jump to launch aircraft and can carry about thirty aircraft at once, which will include about 25 ‘fixed-wing’ fighters.
…so that the name of INS Vikrant remains alive
The ship named INS Vikrant, played a role in the naval siege of erstwhile East Pakistan (Bangladesh) in the Indo-Pak war of 1971. Therefore, to keep the name of INS Vikrant alive, it was decided to indigenously build another warship with the same name. After approval from the then Defense Minister George Fernandes in 1999, work on the design of the new Vikrant ship began and finally got formal government approval in January 2003. Meanwhile, in August 2006, Admiral Arun Prakash, the then Chief of Naval Staff, changed the ship’s designation from Air Defence Ship (ADS) to Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC).