India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS VIKRANT(IAC1) is out for trials
India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IA C) – INS Vikrant has begin its sea trials in Karwar waters. India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier is finally entering into the pre-induction stage.
The project has been long-delayed and originally the ship was to be ready by 2018. However, now the ship is expected to be operational by 2022.
The warship weighs 37,500-tonne and may initially operate MiG 29K fighters but could also have indigenous twin engine combat aircrafts fly from its deck(TEDBF).
This is the largest warship to be constructed in an Indian yard and by testing its engines it now enters its final phase of construction
Vikrant will be capable of operating an aircraft mix of the Russian MiG-29K and Twin engine fighters plane being developed indigenously by HAL. Its helicopter component will include the Kamov 31 and the indigenously developed ALH helicopters. The ship’s ability to sense and control a large air space around it will be enabled by modern C/D band Early Air Warning Radar, V/UHF Tactical Air Navigational and Direction Finding systems, jamming capabilities over the expected Electro Magnetic (EM) environment and Carrier Control Approach Radars to aid air operations. Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR SAM) systems with Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and Close- In Weapon System (CIWS) will form the protective suite of the ship. All weapon systems onboard the carrier will be integrated through an indigenous Combat Management System (CMS), being manufactured by Tata Power systems. The ship’s integration with Navy’s Network Centric Operations will provide force multiplication.
The project was planned in January 1997. The project, earlier known as Air Defence Ship (ADS), was planned for 20,000 tonne displacement. However, later 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 (IA C) from the earlier Air Defence Ship.
The project was delayed due to several reasons and finally it was entrusted to CSL considering its modern infrastructure facilities. The ship was designed by the Directorate of Naval Design, which was its first assignment to design an aircraft carrier. Several firms across the country have chipped in for 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, will have 160 officers and 1,400 sailors on board.