In Focus

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant's Sea Trials Commence

By A Draft Correspondent

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) ‘Vikrant’ designed by Indian Navy's Directorate of Naval Design (DND) is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Shipping (MoS). IAC is a leading example of the nation’s quest for 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' with more than 76 per cent indigenous content. This is the maiden attempt of the Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier. 

INDIGENOUS: The IAC is a leading example of the nation’s quest for 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'
The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is 262 m long, 62 m at the widest part and height of 59 m including the superstructure. There are 14 decks in all, including five in the superstructure. The ship has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers. The ship has been designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability.

‘Vikrant’ has a top speed of around 28 knots and cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles. The ship can accommodate an assortment of fixed wing and rotary aircraft. 

Most of the ship construction activities have been completed and the ship has entered the trial phase. Readiness of ship’s Propulsion and Power Generation equipment/systems was tested in harbour as part of Basin Trials in November 2020. Progress of construction of the Carrier was reviewed by Raksha Mantri during his visit to the ship on 25 June 2021.

FORMIDABLE: 'Vikrant' has a top speed of 28 knots and cruising speed of 18 knots
Though the commencement of sea trials was delayed due to the second wave of COVID-19 with concentrated and dedicated efforts of large number of workmen, OEMs, engineers, overseers, inspectors, designers and the ship’s crew, who had put their heart and soul towards the ship’s readiness for sea trials. 

This is a major milestone activity and a historical event. Reaching this milestone is significant as they have been achieved barring the current pandemic challenges and imponderables. During the maiden sailing, ship’s performance, including hull, main propulsion, PGD and auxiliary equipment would be closely watched. 

With the delivery of IAC, India would join a select group of nations with the capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier which will be a real testimony to the ‘Make In India’ thrust of the Indian Government.

This has led to growth in indigenous design and construction capabilities besides development of large number of ancillary industries with employment opportunities for 2,000 CSL personnel and about 12,000 employees in ancillary industries. Over 76 per cent indigenous content towards procurement of equipment, besides work by CSL and their subcontractors is being directly invested back into the Indian economy. Around 550 Indian firms including about 100 MSMEs are registered with CSL who are providing various services for the construction of the IAC. 

Indian Navy’s ship building programme is rightly poised to provide requisite economic stimulus with 44 ships and submarines on order being built indigenously.

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