Kochi/ New Delhi: On a landmark day for the naval history of India, the country's first indigenous Aircraft Carrier IAC-1 `Vikrant’ sailed for her first Contractor Sea Trials on Wednesday. As soon as the made-in India IAC-1 Vikrant will be inducted into the Navy, India would join a select group of nations with the capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier. Designed at Indian Navy's Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a Public Sector Shipyard under Ministry of Shipping IAC-1 has almost 76 percent indigenous content which includes the steel used in the construction as well as the sensors and key weapons on board.
The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is 262 m long, 62 m at the widest part, and a height of 59 m including the superstructure. There are 14 decks in all, including five in the superstructure. The ship has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers. The ship has been designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation, and survivability, ‘Vikrant’ has a top speed of around 28 knots and cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles. The ship can accommodate an assortment of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.
“It is a red-letter day for the Indian shipbuilding industry. We are happy that we have managed to keep the faith reposed by the Indian Navy and the government in particular. Significant capabilities have been developed by CSL in areas of ship design, construction, and network integration.” said Madhu S Nair, Chairman and Managing Director of CSL.
Initial reports suggest that the aircraft carrier is sailing smoothly which is positive, he added
Progress of construction of the Carrier was reviewed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to the ship on 25 Jun 21. "Though the commencement of Sea Trials was delayed due to the second wave of COVID, with concentrated and dedicated efforts of a large number of workmen, OEMs, engineers, overseers, inspectors, designers and the ship’s crew, who had put their heart and soul towards the ship’s readiness for sea trials," the Ministry said in an official statement.
"This is a major milestone activity and historical event. Reaching this milestone is significant as they have been achieved barring the current pandemic challenges and imponderables. During the maiden sailing, ship’s performance, including hull, main propulsion, PGD, and auxiliary equipment would be closely watched," it added.
The Indigenous construction of Aircraft Carrier is a shining example in the Nation’s quest for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India Initiative’. This has led to growth in indigenous design and construction capabilities besides the development of a large number of ancillary industries, with employment opportunities for 2000 CSL personnel and about 12000 employees in ancillary industries. Over 76% of indigenous content towards procurement of equipment, besides work by CSL and their subcontractors, is being directly invested back into the Indian economy. Around 550 Indian firms including about 100 MSMEs are registered with CSL, who are providing various services for the construction of IAC.
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