Indian MoD press release
After two successive high-profile visits – the President and Vice President of India – within a span of fewer than two weeks, IAC Vikrant is heading out for the next set of sea trials. Both dignitaries, having reviewed the progress had conveyed their satisfaction and expressed their best wishes to all the stakeholders involved in the project.
While the maiden sea trials in August last year were to establish propulsion, navigational suite, and basic operations, the second sea trial later in October-November witnessed the ship being put through its paces in terms of various machinery trials and flight trials. The ship in fact was out for 10 days proving its sustenance in the very second sortie. Various seamanship evolutions were also successfully cleared during the second sortie.
Having gained adequate confidence in the ship’s abilities, the IAC now sails to undertake complex maneuvers to establish specific readings of how the ship performs in various conditions. In addition, various sensor suites of the ship would also be tested.
The IAC has been a success story on numerous counts. Be it the case of Atmanirbharta wherein 76% of the equipment is indigenously sourced or the close engagement between the Design teams of the Indian Navy and M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited – a high-point in the largest and most complex warship ever to be built in the country.
That the ship has been able to carry out basic flying operations from its very first sortie itself is a landmark in Indian warship construction history. Despite surging COVID cases in the country and the resultant challenges, the combined teams from multiple organizations associated with the project, are upbeat and committed to meeting the timeliness. On successful completion of a series of progressive sea trials, the ship is scheduled to be commissioned as INS Vikrant later this year, as the nation commemorates ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
About IAC INS Vikrant
Back in 2015, India’s minister of defense announced that the indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant would be delivered to the Indian Navy in December 2018. Local media reported in May 2017 that the procurement delays have 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. The 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 STOBAR aircraft carrier will be able to accommodate up to 30 fighters and helicopters, including Mig-29K fighters jets and Ka-31 helicopters.