First indigenous aircraft carrier conducted sea trials
India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, conducted its maiden sea trails on August 4, 2021 encouraging making of military equipment within India.
- Trials will be conducted for a long period under all conditions before the carrier is accepted as “proven at sea”.
- It will be fully operational by 2022.
- Navy will accept this warship and then conduct aviation trials.
- Under the aviation trials, take-off and landing of Russian MiG 29K fighter jets would take place.
- In the maiden trail, Navy conducted the deck landing of Navy’s Sea King helicopters.
- Carrier has been designed by Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design.
About INS Vikrant
INS Vikrant is a 44000-tonne carrier, built at the cost of Rs 23,000 crore. It has been built at state-owned Cochin Shipyard in Kochi, Kerala. About 550 Indian firms including 100 MSMEs are providing services to construct this warship. It is the largest and most complex warship that has been designed and built in India for the first time. With this aircraft, India now joins a select group of nations having capability to indigenously design, build and integrate such aircraft carrier. Countries like US, UK, Russia, Japan, Italy and France have such capacities. South Korea is also pursuing a carrier programme.
Features of the aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier has a top speed of 28 knots or 52 kmph while cruising speed of 18 knots. It has an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles or 13,650 km. Warship comprises of 14 decks with 2300 compartments which can carry about 1700 crew.
Keel for the warship was laid in 2009. It was scheduled to join the fleet in December 2018 but it got delayed due to complexity of making it. Warship was set out at sea in 2013. Cost of making also escalated beyond originally sanctioned amount of Rs 19,341 crore.