The IAC-1 under Project 71 is the largest and the most complex warship which has ever been designed and built in India.
Indian Navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier IAC-1 `Vikrant’ on August 4, 2021, sailed for her first Contractor Sea Trials (CST). This is the 50th year of her renowned predecessor’s major role in victory in the 1971 war. After successfully completing Basin Trials last November the aircraft carrier started the sea trials today. The IAC-1 under Project 71 is the largest and the most complex warship which has ever been designed and built in India. With this new achievement, India has now joined a select group of countries which build their own aircraft carriers.
According to the Indian Navy, “Despite the COVID19 challenges, it is due to the efforts of all the stakeholders that the project has managed to make it to the sea-trials stage.”
Once the trials are completed, the aircraft carrier which has been constructed at the Cochin Shipyard, Kochi, will be commissioned in the Indian Navy next year in a befitting tribute to India’s 75 years on independence.
The made in India IAC-1 has almost 75 percent indigenous content which includes the steel used in the construction as well as the sensors and key weapons on board.
A number of navigational, communication and operational systems.
The project of IAC-1 which is already running behind schedule was originally approved by the former NDA government. It has been designed in India.
Now that the sea trials have started the race for which fighters will go on board will start too.
The IAC-1 `Vikrant’ weighs 40,000 tons and works on a Short Take-Off but Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) mechanism. This mechanism is similar to the one on the INS Vikramaditya which has an angular ski-jump.
It will be powered by four General Electric (GE) gas turbines from the US.
Most potent sea-based asset
India is operating with just one aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. And once the IAC-1 is commissioned next year, it will make the Indian navy stronger and its reach and versatility will help in securing interests in Indian Ocean Region and beyond.
As has been reported earlier the three batches of crew have been identified and the Captain has been named and have all been approved.
According to the Indian Navy, the ship once commissioned will operate the Russian Kamov-31 Air Early Warning Helicopters, MiG-29K fighter aircraft, soon to be commissioned American MH-60R multi-role helicopter. Also on board will be Advanced Light Helicopters which have been made at the state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
How will these assets help?
Besides the oft used term interoperability with other assets, especially during various exercises it will provide the Indian Navy with Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare and Airborne Early Warning, more Air Power over long distances, also Anti-Surface Warfare, offensive and defensive Counter-Air, and Air Interdiction.
On board the IAC-1, there will also be indigenous Combat Management System which caters for the enhancement of Threat Evaluation & Resource Allocation (TERA). This helps in the effective integration of the carrier borne Russian MiG 29K’s mission planning in the offensive/defensive role.
The focus is now on making rapid development in Artificial Intelligence (AI) as this is now getting ready for future warfare.