In what is considered a major success for India’s “Make In India” and “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat” initiatives, the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) has handed over India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant, to the Indian Navy..
A press release by India’s Ministry of Defence states “Coinciding with the celebrations to commemorate 75th anniversary of India’s independence ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the reincarnation of Vikrant is a true testimony to the country’s zeal and fervor in pursuing capability build up towards enhanced maritime security,“..
The aircraft carrier was designed by Indian Navy’s inhouse Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built by CSL, a Public Sector Shipyard under Ministry of Shipping (MoS) and named after its illustrious predecessor, which played a vital role in the 1971 war against Pakistan..
The 262 mtr long carrier has a full displacement of close to 45,000 tonnes which is much larger and advanced than her predecessor and powered by four Gas Turbines totaling 88 MW power and has a maximum speed of 28 Knots..
The keel of the USD2.5 billion ship was laid in Feb 2009, followed by launching in Aug 2013.. The ship was built with 76% indigenous content and has been characterised as a perfect example of the nation’s quest for “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat” providing much needed thrust to the Indian Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative..
With the delivery of Vikrant, India has joined a select group of nations having the niche capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier..
As per the press release, “Vikrant has been built with high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, and has been designed to accommodate an assortment of fixed wing and rotary aircraft.
The ship would be capable of operating air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising of MIG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy). Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as STOBAR (Short Take- Off but Arrested Landing), the IAC is equipped with a ski- jump for launching aircraft, and a set of ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery onboard.”
Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) ‘Vikrant’ delivered to #IndianNavy by @cslcochin following extensive user acceptance trials.
A momentous day in the Indian Maritime History & indigenous shipbuilding coinciding with #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav.#AatmanirbharBharat @DefenceMinIndia pic.twitter.com/KADoss93zn
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) July 28, 2022
The 76% indigenous content has been supplied by major industrial houses in India such as BEL, BHEL, GRSE, Keltron, Kirloskar, Larsen & Toubro, Wartsila India etc. as well as over 100 MSMEs..
The Indian Navy said “The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier would soon be commissioned into the Indian Navy as Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant which would bolster India’s position in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and its quest for a blue water Navy.”
The indigenisation efforts has also led to development of ancillary industries, besides generation of employment opportunities and bolstering plough back effect on economy, both locally as well as pan-India..
A major spin-off of this is the development and production of indigenous warship grade steel for the ship through a partnership between Navy, DRDO and Steel Authority of India (SAIL), which has enabled the country to become self-sufficient with respect to warship steel..
Today all the warships being built in the country are being manufactured using indigenous steel..