India's first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) has been launched into the sea for trials. It is the largest and most complex aircraft carrier in the country. To be inducted into the Indian Navy in August next year, the cost of manufacturing this behemoth has been around Rs. 23,000 crore and it weighs about 40,000 tons.
Named INS Vikrant, the IAC is expected to be handed over to the Indian Navy next year but process of the manufacturing INS Vikrant started more than a decade ago in the year 2009. This year the ship will go through rigorous trails on the sea to check its power and durability.
INS Vikrant is powered by the turbines of General Electric which gives it the power of 1.10 lakh horsepower. It will house MiG-29K fighter aircraft, 10 Kmaov Ka-31, and MH-60R Multirole Helicopters Squadron. A total of 36 to 40 fighter aircraft can be deployed on INS Vikrant at a time. The strike force of this aircraft carrier has a range of 1500 km, loaded with 64 Barak missiles which are capable of hitting the air from the ground.
Proud & historic day for India as the reincarnated #Vikrant sails for her maiden sea trials today, in the 50th year of her illustrious predecessor’s key role in victory in the #1971war— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) August 4, 2021
Largest & most complex warship ever to be designed & built in India.
Many more will follow... pic.twitter.com/6cYGtAUhBK
Its flight deck is 1.10 lakh square feet, from which fighter jets can take off or land comfortably. The ship's combat management system has been developed by Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division in association with Weapon and Electronics System Engineering of Russia.
INS Vikrant measures 262 metres long, with a beam of 62 metres and a height of 59 metres. With 14 decks, it includes five in the superstructure, 2,300 compartments and can accommodate a crew of 1,700, including women officers
Why it is important to have an indigenous aircraft carrier in the Navy?
Only five or six countries have the potential to build an aircraft carrier; India has now joined this exclusive club. India has proved its capability and self-reliance in the construction of one of the world's most advanced and complex battleships.
Previously, either the British or the Russians built India's aircraft carriers. The INS Vikramaditya, which was commissioned in 2013 was the Russian Gorshkov, is the Navy's lone aircraft carrier. INS Vikrant and INS Viraat, the country's first two carriers, were formerly the British-built HMS Hercules and HMS Hermes, respectively, before being commissioned into the Navy in 1961 and 1987.