With IAC Vikrant, India joins select group capable of building 40,000-ton aircraft carrier

New Delhi: With the first indigenously-built aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant, which is set to be commissioned on September 2, India joined the select club of countries capable of manufacturing aircraft carriers above 40,000 tons.

“India has joined the select club of nations including the US, UK, Russia, China and France to design and manufacture aircraft carriers above 40,000 tons,” Indian Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral SN Ghormade said.

IAC Vikrant has 2200 compartments including separate accommodation for women officers and female Agniveer sailors.

For the Vikrant, the equipment has been made in 18 States and union territories including places like Ambala, Daman, Kolkata, Jalandhar, Kota, Pune and New Delhi, he said.

The vice chief further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest at the commissioning of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant on September 2 in Kochi.

“We all know that in the Indian Ocean Region, we should have a force level which can act as a deterrent. All efforts were made to make INS Vikramaditya available fast and INS Vikrant was readied quickly,” Vice Admiral Ghormade added.

“We designed the Vikrant for operating the MiG-29K but we would be ultimately deploying the indigenous TEDBF (Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter) fighter aircraft for which we are working with DRDO. For the interim, we are looking at Rafale and F-18 aircraft and trials have been carried out,” Vice Admiral stated.

Looking at the indigenous solution for drones like Predator UAVs, Vice Adm SN Ghormade said that indigenisation is the way ahead of the team and “we would want the research and development organisation to develop its own capabilities of High Altitude Long Endurance unmanned aerial vehicle.”

Vikrant is designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built by CSL, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, the carrier is christened after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’ which played a vital role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

The 262-meter-long carrier has a full displacement of close to 45,000 tons which is much larger and more advanced than her predecessor.

IAC Vikrant consists of 14 decks with 2,300 compartments which can carry around 1,500 sea warriors and to cater to the food requirements, around 10,000 chapatis are made in the ship’s kitchen, which is called the ship’s gallery.

A day earlier, while speaking about the biggest ever Make-in-India initiative in the country, Southern Naval Commander Chief Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi said, “Vikrant is a true manifestation of Atmanirbhar Bharat, built with 76 per cent indigenous components.”

“The impending commissioning of the indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is indeed historic as it gives us the ability as a country to join a few select nations which are able to design and construct aircraft carriers. The Navy’s in-house design directorate designed the ship and it has been built by Cochin Shipyard Limited here at Kochi. And indeed, it’s a true manifestation of Atmanirbhar Bharat. About 76 per cent of the cost of the ship by way of equipment and services is entirely indigenous,” Vice Admiral Hampiholi said.

Hampiholi said Vikrant will give the impetus to further Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of security and growth for all in the region (SAGAR) and added,” it would also give impetus to be the first responder as also the preferred security partner in our immediate maritime neighbourhood.”

Vikrant has been built with a high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, and has been designed to accommodate an assortment of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.

Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as STOBAR (Short Take-Off but Arrested Landing), the IAC is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft, and a set of ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery onboard.

The ship has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, involving major industrial houses in the country such as BEL, BHEL, GRSE, Keltron, Kirloskar, Larsen & Toubro, Wartsila India etc as well as over 100 MSMEs. The indigenisation efforts also led to the development of ancillary industries, besides the generation of employment opportunities and bolstering plough back effect on the economy, both locally as well as pan-India.