India will construct its first indigenously-built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant (meaning courageous) later this year, according to Business Insider. The warship has been in the works for more than two decades.
India has depended on imports to meet its military requirements. INS Vikramaditya, the flagship of the Indian Navy, was completely renovated after serving the Soviet Navy and later the Russian Navy, before being decommissioned in 1996. So, manufacturing an indigenous aircraft carrier is a significant move forward for the country.
From design to deployment
The ship''s design work began in 1999, but the keel was not recovered for another decade. Two years later, the ship was floated out of the dry docks at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), the country''s largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility, which was located in Kerala. The ship was built in 2013.
The 860 feet (262 m) long vessel has 14 decks and 2,300 compartments. The aircraft carrier, which has hauled 44,000 tons (45,000 tonnes), has the ability to move at a high speed of 28 knots and has an endurance of 7,500 nautical miles ( 14,000 km).
The ship has been designed to accommodate a crew of over 1,700 sailors with over 200 officers on board. This includes special cabins for female officers, who had already begun receiving warship deployments only in 2021.
Last year, the indigenous aircraft carrier also begun sea trials and is now back at the CSL for finishing touches. The warship will undergo a final sea trial before being handed over to the Indian Navy later this year.
A 110,000 square foot (10,000 sq m) flight deck has two aircraft lifts and capacity to carry up to 40 aircraft, including MiG-29K fighter jets, Soviet-origin Kamov-31 helicopters, and Sikorsky MH-60R multi-role helicopters.
The Barak 8 surface-to-air missiles, built with Israeli cooperation, have two-purpose 76mm cannons from Italy, and fully automatic rotary naval 30mm cannons from Russia are among its weapons.
A warship based in the United States has been designed to carry an indigenous electronic warfare suite.