KOCHI: The largest naval ship of the country and Indian Navy’s only serving aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, is on the final process to set sail after the refit work it had in Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL). 

The ship, which has been presently stationed at Ernakulam Wharf, is undergoing machinery trials. After successfully completing the machinery trials, the ship will have running trials in the sea. INS Vikramaditya will return to the base camp at Karwar in Karnataka and will join the Western Naval Fleet of the Indian Navy to which the ship belongs. 

The ship had its maiden dry docking and refit in Kochi in 2016 and this was the second dry docking of INS Vikramaditya in CSL. The ship, which arrived in Kochi on May 17, was docked for refit works on May 25 and was undocked on September 22 after 120 days. The Navy officials said that about 16,000 people have visited the ship over the past 10 days after being undocked at Ernakulam Wharf. 

“CSL has successfully and timely completed the refit work, which cost about Rs 5 crore. This is a boost for our strong partnership with CSL,” said Captain Puruvir Das. 

He also appreciated the CSL team for the focused and planned repair works carried out by them. The ship, which has a length of about 285m and width of about 60m, has about 23 decks. 

INS Vikramaditya, which is often being called as the ‘floating city’ among the Indian Navy, is operated and maintained by about 1,600 sailors with assistance of about 145 officers. 

With the complete required stock of provisions, the ship can sustain by itself at the sea for about 60 days. 

The ship can carry about 30 aircraft, including the MiG 29K swing role fighter aircraft.

Das also told that the indigenous ship building technology of India is still a growing process. 

“For a ship to be completely made in India, there requires many combinations of our own like design of the ship, its fabrication, fitment of machinery and sophisticated weapons. We have learned many things and should be proud of where we have reached now,” he added.