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India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier sails through with flying colours in maiden sea trial

Aircraft Carrier Vikrant successfully completes maiden sea trial

India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’ successfully accomplished its maiden sea voyage on Sunday for which she had sailed on Aug 4 from Kochi. 

“Trials progressed as planned and system parameters proved satisfactory. During the maiden sailing, ship’s performance, including hull, main propulsion, Power Generation and Distribution and auxiliary equipment were tested,” the defence ministry said.

The carrier would undergo a series of sea trials to prove all equipment and systems prior to its delivery in 2022. Delivery of Vikrant is being targeted to coincide with celebrations to commemorate 75th anniversary of India’s independence ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,’ the defence ministry statement added.

Delivery of the aircraft carrier would also strengthen India’s position in the Indian Ocean Region and its quest for a blue water Navy.

Also read:  New submarine joins Indian Navy fleet to add more blue water clout amid China stand-off

The construction of the Vikrant has put India in a select league of countries including the US, the UK, Russia, France and China that have the capability to build aircraft carriers.

With more than 76% indigenous content, the aircraft carrier, designed by Indian Navy's Directorate of Naval Design and being built at the public sector Cochin Shipyard Limited, is a leading example of the nation’s quest for “Atam Nirbhar Bharat.” and Indian Navy’s “Make in India” initiative.

Vikrant is India’s largest warship with a length of 262 metres and is  62 metres wide. It has a height of 59 m inclusive of 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, with accommodation facilities for women officers as well.

The ship has been designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, ‘Vikrant’ has a top speed of around 28 knots and cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles. The ship can accommodate both fighter jets such as MiG 29K as well as helicopters like Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters and the indigenous advanced light helicopters.

Trials, which were reviewed by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command on the last day.

This is the maiden attempt of the Indian Navy and the Cochin Shipyard Ltd to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier. Around 550 Indian firms, including about 100 MSMEs are registered with CSL, and are providing various services for construction of IAC,” the statement said.

India currently operates a solitary aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, that was bought second-hand.

The new aircraft carrier has been named after the earlier INS Vikrant operated by the Indian Navy from 1961 to 1997.