After nearly a year of sea trials, India’s first home-built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, will be formally commissioned today. The 45,000-ton warship was constructed for 20,000 crore rupees.
Let’s dive into the details about India’s First Home-Built Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant:
On Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the new Naval Ensign (flag) for the Indian Navy and commissioned the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, at Cochin Shipyard Limited. When INS Vikrant, which cost Rs 20,000 crore to build, was dedicated to Chhatrapathi Shivaji, the prime minister declared that India had left its colonial past behind. The warship was constructed using technology and gear indigenous to India that was provided by more than 100 MSMEs.
The largest warship ever constructed in India, the INS Vikrant is 262 meters long and 62 meters broad. It can carry 30 aircraft, including helicopters and MiG-29K fighter jets. The warship has room for around 1,600 crew members. INS Vikrant, in the beginning, will have MiG fighters and a few choppers. 26 deck-based aircraft are being purchased by the Navy, which has restricted its options to some Boeing and Dassault models.
The warship project lasted for more than ten years. Since August 21 of last year, the INS Vikrant has successfully completed several phases of sea trials. The navy will take command after the aviation testing has concluded.
India currently only has one aircraft carrier, the Russian-platformed INS Vikramaditya. In addition to one for each of the two main naval fronts in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, the defense forces have been looking for three carriers total, one in reserve.
India can now increase its maritime presence by deploying an aircraft carrier along both its eastern and western coasts.