Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned the first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at Kochi on September 2, which marks a “historical milestone of realisation of Nation’s commitment towards AatmaNirbharta” (self-reliance).
Vikrant is the largest warship to have ever been built in India. It is also the first indigenously designed and built Aircraft Carrier for the Indian Navy.
VIKRANT; THE NAME
Designed by the Warship Design Bureau (WDB), Indian Navy’s in-house organisation and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is christened after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first Aircraft Carrier that played a vital role in the 1971 war. Vikrant means victorious and gallant.
The Aircraft Carrier is a mini floating city, with a flight deck area covering the size of two football fields. The 262 m long and 62 m wide Vikrant displaces approx 43000 T when fully loaded, having a maximum designed speed of 28 Knots with endurance of 7500 NM. The ship has around 2200 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1600 that include specialised cabins to accommodate women officers and sailors. The carrier is designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operations, ship navigation and survivability. The carrier is equipped with the latest state of the equipment and systems. The ship boasts of a fully-fledged state of the art Medical Complex with latest medical equipment facilities that includes major modular OT, emergency modular OT, physiotherapy clinic, ICU, laboratories, CT scanner, X-Ray machines, Dental complex, Isolation ward and telemedicine facilities etc. The ship would be capable of operating air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising of MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy). Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR), the IAC is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft, and a set of three ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery onboard.
INS ‘Vikrant’ has successfully completed multiple phases of Sea Trials from August, 21 to till date, where the ship’s performance, including response of ship’s hull to various conditions of operations, manoeuvring trials, main propulsion, Power Generation and Distribution (PGD), ship’s Navigation and Communication systems, endurance testing of propulsion machinery, electrical & electronic suites, deck machinery, lifesaving appliances, integrated trials of majority of equipment/ systems and trials of other auxiliary equipment were ascertained and proved to the satisfaction of Indian Navy’s trials team and ship’s crew.
In line with the prevailing practices being followed by other advanced countries having experience of building Aircraft Carrier, the deck integration trials of fixed wing aircraft and exploitation of Aviation Facility Complex will be carried out post commissioning of the ship when the operational command & control of the ship including flight safety is with the Navy.
VIKRANT WARSHIP IMPORTANT
One of the most potent marine assets for any nation, an aircraft carrier only enhances a Navy’s capability to travel far from its home shores to carry out air domination operations. An aircraft carrier generally leads as the capital ship of a carrier strike/ battle group.
VIKRANT; WHY IMPORANT FOR INDIA
India has joined the prestigious club of manufacturing aircraft carriers. At present, only five or six countries do have the capability to build such carriers. Commissioning of ‘Vikrant’ would be a proud and landmark moment for the Nation showcasing Aatma Nirbhar credentials.