The basin trials of an Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) were successfully completed at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on Monday. Basin trials are primarily aimed at proving the main propulsion plant of the carrier in the harbour and is a precursor to the ensuing sea trials, after which it will be commissioned as INS Vikrant.
The trials were conducted in the presence of Vice-Admiral A K Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, and Madhu S Nair, chairman and managing director, CSL.
As part of the trials, all four LM2500 gas turbines, main gear boxes, shafting and controllable pitch propellers and the integrated control systems were successfully operated.
Major auxiliary equipment and systems such as the steering gear, air-conditioning plants centrifuges, power generation and distribution system and internal communication equipment were also tested. The sea trials have been planned in the first half of 2021.
INS Vikrant is a 260 meters long and 60 meters wide vessel displacing 37,500-tonnes. 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.
The latest reports indicate that India’s first locally made aircraft carrier will be commissioned in Indian Navy in late 2021 or in early 2022.