What can be called a rather proud day for India’s defence, the reincarnated Vikrant (IAC) on Wednesday sailed for her maiden sea trials in Kochi, in the 50th year of her illustrious predecessor’s key role in victory in the 1971 war.

“Largest & most complex warship ever to be designed & built in India," said a statement by Indian Navy.

With the building of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), India joins select group of nations having niche capability to indigenously design, build & integrate a state of art aircraft carrier.

“Reaching this milestone despite covid-19 challenges made possible by dedicated efforts of all stakeholders," added the statement.

It will be the second ship to bear that name; the first Vikrant was the first aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy that served in the 1971 Bangladesh war and was decommissioned in 1997.

The Vikrant is expected to be commissioned by 2022. The construction of the Vikrant began with cutting of steel for the project in 2006, though it encountered considerable delays.

The Vikrant will be displace over 40,000 tonnes. It is expected to carry MiG-29K fighters and a combination of helicopters including the Ka-31 for airborne early warning, MH-60R for anti-submarine warfare and HAL Dhruv for general-purpose duties such as search and rescue.

While the Vikrant will use the same ‘ski-jump’ configuration as the INS Vikramaditya to launch fighter aircraft, the former is considerably more advanced than the Russian-built ship. The Vikrant features newer engines, radars and other electronics, when compared with the Russian-built Vikramaditya.