India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant might begin its sea trials at western coast in Karwar or at Eastern coast in Visakhapatnam from December. It is finally entering into the pre-induction stage.
The INS Vikrant has been equipped with required systems and tools and the sea trial run was supposed to begin earlier this year, but postponed due to pandemic situation.
It is built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kerala, it has displacement of 40,000 tonne ,is 262 metre long and has a 62-metre beam. Though the aircraft can carry up to 40 fighter aircrafts.
The project was planned in January 1997. Earlier the project known as Air Defence Ship (ADS) and planned for 20,000 tonne displacement. Later on it was enhanced to 37,500 so that the vessel would carry fighter jets like MiG 29K and the designation was changed to Indigenous Aircraft Carrier from the earlier Air Defence Ship.
The project was delayed due to several reasons and finally it was given to CSL considering its as modern infrastructure facilities. The ship was designed by the Directorate of Naval Design, which was its first assignment to design an aircraft carrier.
Several private and government firms across the country are involved in development of this indigenous aircraft carrier. The maximum speed of the ship would be 28 knots with a range of 7,500 nautical miles. The ship, when commissioned it will have 160 officers and 1,400 sailors on board.
It will operate on Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) mechanism similar to the present carrier INS Vikramaditya with an angular ski-jump. Helicopters will also be part of its aviation complement.
All four Gas Turbines, main engines were started, Power Generation Systems comprising of eight Diesel Alternators ready and trials of ship’s major systems and auxiliary equipment (pumps, motors, filters, AC, etc) in progress. IAC had successfully completed the Pre-Contractors Sea Trials dry dock work package in Dec 2019.
Indian Navy plans to operate three carrier battle groups (CBG) with one each on the Eastern and Western seaboards and a third one under the maintenance (refit/repair).Indian Navy acquires various ships/weapons/equipment including the carrier-based Aircraft in accordance with the Maritime Capability Perspective Plan (MCPP) and Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP).