The Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) on July 28 handed over India's first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) 'Vikrant' to the Indian Navy.
"The reincarnation of 'Vikrant' is a true testimony to the country's zeal and fervour in pursuing capability build up towards enhanced maritime security," the Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated in a press release.
Built at an overall cost of close to Rs 20,000 crore, the project has progressed in three phases: the first sea trials were completed in August 2021, followed by the second and third phases in October 2021 and January 2022 respectively.
The IAC provides thrust to the government's 'Make in India' initiative with an overall indigenous content of 76 percent -- involving industrial houses including Bharat Electronics, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Keltron, Kirloskar, Larsen & Toubro and Wartsila India, the MoD said.
The development and production of indigenous warship-grade steel for the ship, through a partnership between Navy, DRDO and Steel Authority of India (SAIL), has enabled the country to become self-sufficient with respect to warship steel.
"Today all the warships being built in the country are being manufactured using indigenous steel," the ministry said.
The project has led to the development of ancillary industries, besides the generation of employment opportunities and bolstering plough-back effect on economy, both locally as well as pan-India.
CSL has additionally upgraded its shipbuilding infrastructure as well as enhanced productivity skills during the building of the ship.
The Indian Navy and CSL had to overcome a multitude of unprecedented technical and logistic challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and changed geo-political scenario.
The indigenous aircraft carrier would soon be commissioned into the Indian Navy as the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant which would bolster India's position in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and its quest for a blue water Navy.
What do you need to know about the 'Vikrant'?
The ship, designed by the Indian Navy's in-house Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built by CSL, played a vital role in the 1971 war.
The 262-metre-long carrier has a full displacement of close to 45,000 tonnes. The ship is powered by four gas turbines, totalling 88 mega watt power, and has a maximum speed of 51.85 kilometres per hour.
According to the press release, 'Vikrant' has been built with a high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, and would be capable of operating an air wing consisting of 30 aircraft.
Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Landing), the IAC is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft, and a set of 'arrester wires' for their recovery onboard.Several design iterations, including the use of 3D virtual reality models and advanced engineering software were used by the Directorate of Naval Design in shaping the design of the carrier.