Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant returned after a five-day sea trial to test the performance of the 40,000-tonne warship. IAC Vikrant, built at a cost of around ₹23,000 crores, set sail from Kochi on August 4 for the crucial sea trials ahead of its planned induction into the Indian Navy by August next year.
Vice Admiral AK Chawla said on the successful completion of the trial “historic moment for the country”. In an interview with the news agency, ANI AK Chawla said, “We are going back to Kochi after five days of trials at sea. We’re going back with a great sense of satisfaction. This has been possible with dedicated teamwork,”
An official report stated that the system parameters proved satisfactory during the trials. The ship’s performance, including hull, main propulsion, Power Generation and Distribution (PGD) and auxiliary equipment were tested during the exercise. Vice Admiral AK Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command reviewed the trials.
The aircraft carrier is 262 metres long, 62 metres at the widest part and a height of 59 metres including the superstructure. There are 14 decks in all, including five in the superstructure.
The warship will operate MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters, MH-60R multi-role helicopters. It has a top speed of around 28 knots and a cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles.
The ship has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,700 people, having gender-sensitive accommodation spaces for women officers. The ship with a high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, has been designed to accommodate an assortment of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.
With the delivery of Vikrant, India would join a select group of nations with the capability to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier. It will also provide thrust to the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Delivery of IAC would also strengthen India’s position in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and its quest for a blue water Navy. India currently has only one aircraft carrier – INS Vikramaditya.