India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant began another set of sea trials on Sunday to carry out complex manoeuvres in high seas ahead of its planned induction in August.
The 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier, the largest and most complex warship to be built in India, successfully completed a five-day maiden sea voyage in August and underwent 10-day sea trials in October.
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“The IAC now sails to undertake complex manoeuvres to establish specific readings of how the ship performs in various conditions,” Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said, adding various sensor suites of the ship would also be tested.
The warship has been built at a cost of around Rs 23,000 crore and its construction propelled India into a select group of countries having capabilities to build state-of-the-art aircraft carriers.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu visited the ship recently in Kochi.
“After two successive high profile visits – the President and Vice President of India – within a span of fewer than two weeks, IAC Vikrant is heading out for the next set of sea trials,” Commander Madhwal said.
“Both dignitaries, having reviewed the progress, had conveyed their satisfaction and expressed their best wishes to all the stakeholders involved in the project,” he added.
While the maiden sea trials were to establish propulsion, navigational suite, and basic operations, the second sea trial witnessed the ship being put through its paces in terms of various machinery trials and flight trials.
“The ship in fact was out for 10 days proving its sustenance in the very second sortie. Various seamanship evolutions were also successfully cleared during the second sortie,” the Navy official said.
Several scientists from the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory, a DRDO facility based at Visakhapatnam, are witnessing the third phase of sea trials of Vikrant.