The fourth phase of Sea Trials for Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) which is also known as INS Vikrant, has been successfully completed on 10 Jul 22, during which integrated trials of majority of equipment and systems onboard including some of the Aviation Facilities Complex equipment were undertaken. The ship’s delivery is being targeted in end Jul 22, followed by commissioning of the ship in Aug 22 to commemorate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
Currently, India has operationalized only one conventional aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya which is a modified Kiev-class carrier. INS Vikrant, India’s second aircraft carrier is undergoing sea trials since August 2021 and is set to be commissioned in August 22. This is to be deployed on India’s eastern seaboard after one year of infrastructural completion alongside INS Vikramaditya on the western coast. INS Vikrant is indigenously developed (IAC-1) and the cost of the project has been estimated to be US$ 3.1-3.5 Billion.
The Indigenous design and construction of Aircraft Carrier by Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard Ltd is a shining example in the Nation’s quest for ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India Initiative’ with more than 76% indigenous content. This has led to growth in indigenous design and construction capabilities, besides development of large number of ancillary industries, with employment opportunities for over 2000 CSL personnel and about 12000 employees in ancillary industries.
INS Vikrant is 260 meters long and 60 meters wide vessel displacing 37,500 tonnes. The maximum speed of the ship is announced at 28 knots, with a range of 7,500 nautical miles at a speed of 18 knots. INS Vikrant is set to receive a large crew complement composed of 160 officers and 1,400 sailors. The STOBAR aircraft carrier which stands for Short Take-off But Arrested Recovery— will be able to accommodate up to 30 fighters and helicopters, including Mig-29K fighters’ jets and Ka-31 helicopters.
Maiden Sea Trials of IAC were successfully completed in Aug 21. This was followed by second and third phases of Sea Trials in Oct 21 and Jan 22 respectively. During these three phases of Sea Trials, endurance testing of propulsion machinery, electrical & electronic suites, deck machinery, lifesaving appliances, ship’s Navigation and Communication systems was undertaken.