Delivery to force is slated for early 2022

The first indigenous carrier (IAC) is expected to have its maiden entry into the sea for a series of trials before September this year, and delivery to the Navy is slated for early 2022.

Basin trials of the vessel being built by Cochin Shipyard were completed in November 2020, but travel restrictions put the brakes on its preparations for sea trials.

The vessel, to be named Vikrant after the decommissioned maiden carrier of the Navy, will have an air component of 30 aircraft, comprising MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 airborne early warning helicopters and the soon-to-be-inducted MH-60R multi-role helicopter, besides the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters.

With an overall length of 263 metre and a breadth of 63 metre, it is the largest vessel made in India and carries a price tag of about ₹20,000 crore. The towering vessel has a total of 15 decks and a displacement of 40,000 tonnes.

It is expected to have a top speed of 30 knots (approximately 55 kmph) and is propelled by four gas turbines. Its endurance is 7,500 nautical miles at 18 knots (32 kmph) speed, according to a Navy official. The vessel can carry up to 1,500 personnel and has 2,300 compartments. The length of cables running across compartments is about 2,100 km.

The Cabinet Committee on Security approved the carrier construction project in 2002, while its phase-I contract was signed in 2007. Its keel laying was in 2009, followed by launch in 2013. The phase II contract was signed in 2017 and phase III contract in 2019.


The shipborne weapons include Barak LR SAM and AK-630, while it has MFSTAR and RAN-40L 3D radars as sensors. The vessel has a Shakti EW Suite.

It has a pair of runways and a ‘short take off but arrested recovery’ system to control aircraft operations.

The Navy’s perspective plan envisages operation of three aircraft carriers at any given time, one each on the western and eastern seaboards, while a third would remain under maintenance.

Rajnath Briefed

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who reviewed the vessel on Friday morning, was accompanied by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Kochi, Vice Admiral A K Chawla.

Back on shore, he interacted with 10-year-old Veer Kashyap, a student of Navy Children School, Kochi, who won the Pradhan Mantri Bal Puraskar 2021, for developing Corona Yuga — an innovative board game.

Thereafter, he visited a few training establishments of the Southern Naval Command and was briefed on the important training and operational activities being undertaken by the Command. He left for New Delhi in the evening.