The Defence Secretary was heading Empowered Apex Committee (EAC). The review critically examined the current status of the project as the future INS Vikrant is in a very advanced stage of construction and is scheduled to commence Basin Trials in early 2020 followed by the Sea Trials by mid 2020.
This is the 13th EAC Review Meeting of the Project and the first to be held after the signing of the Phase-III of the IAC Contract on 31 Oct 2019 between Government of India, Ministry of Defence & Cochin Shipyard Limited.
The Defence Secretary was accompanied by Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral GS Pabby, Chief of Materiel, Vice Admiral SR Sarma, Controller Warship Production & Acquisition from IHQ MoD(Navy) and other senior officers from IHQ MoD(Navy), Warship Overseeing Team and Carrier Acceptance & Trials Team.
According to the Indian MoD, IAC construction is in an advanced state with all four Gas Turbines, main engines having been started, Power Generation Systems comprising of eight Diesel Alternators ready and trials of ship’s major systems and auxiliary equipment in progress. IAC had successfully completed the Pre-Contractors Sea Trials dry dock work package in Dec 2019. Basin trials are conducted for proving of the propulsion, transmission and shafting systems and is scheduled in early half of 2020. The Aircraft Carrier would be ready to commence the Sea Trials once the Basin trials are successfully completed.
About IAC INS Vikrant
Back in 2015, India’s minister of defense announced that the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant would be delivered to the Indian Navy in December 2018. Local media reported in May 2017 that the procurement delays has been resolved and the carrier’s fitting-out was 62% complete, with trials of the auxiliary systems scheduled by late 2017. The latest reports indicate that India’s first locally made aircraft carrier will be commissioned in 2021.
INS Vikrant is a 260 meters long and 60 meters wide vessel displacing 37,500-tonnes. Maximum speed of the ship is announced at 28 knots, with a range of 7,500 nautical miles at a speed of 18 knots. INS Vikrant is set to receive a large crew complement composed of 160 officers and 1,400 sailors. The aircraft carrier will be able to accommodate up to 30 fighters and helicopters, including Mig-29K fighters jets and Ka-31 helicopters.