Indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant begins sea trials
Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant beginning sea trials off Kochi in Kerala.

Indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant begins sea trials

New Delhi, August 4, 2021

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant has entered the sea trials phase, with most of the ship construction activities having been completed.

Vikrant has been designed by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) of the Indian Navy and is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), Kochi, a public sector shipyard under the Ministry of Shipping.

"IAC is a leading example of the nation’s quest for 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' (Self-Reliant India) with more than 76% indigenous content. This is the maiden attempt of the Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier," a press release from the Ministry of Defence said.

According to the release, readiness of the ship’s propulsion and power generation equipment and systems was tested in harbour as part of Basin Trials in November last year.

The progress of construction of the carrier was reviewed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to the ship on June 25 this year.

The commencement of sea trials was delayed due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic but the ship has been made ready for the trials with the concentrated and dedicated efforts of large number of workmen, OEMs, engineers, overseers, inspectors, designers and the ship’s crew, the release said.

"This is a major milestone activity and historical event. Reaching this milestone is significant as it has been achieved despite the current pandemic challenges and imponderables. During the maiden sailing, the ship’s performance, including hull, main propulsion, PGD and auxiliary equipment would be closely watched," it said.

Vikrant is 262 m long, 62 m at the widest part and has 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, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers. 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 an assortment of fixed wing and rotary aircraft.

"With the delivery of IAC, India would join a select group of nations with the capability to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier, which will be a real testimony to the ‘Make in India’ thrust of the Indian Government," the release said.

It said the project had led to growth in indignous design and construction capabilities besides development of a large number of ancillary industries, with employment opportunities for 2,000 CSL personnel and about 12,000 employees in ancillary industries. Over 76% indigenous content towards procurement of equipment, besides work by CSL and their sub-contractors is being directly invested back into the Indian economy. Around 550 Indian firms including about 100 MSMEs are registered with CSL, who are providing various services for construction of IAC, it said.

"Indian Navy’s shipbuilding programme is rightly poised to provide requisite ‘economic stimulus’, with 44 ships and submarines on order being built indigenously," the release added.


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