Navy Day 2021: INS Vikrant began sea trial in August 2021. (Image credit: Indian Navy's tweet)
Indian Navy Day is celebrated on December 4 to commemorate the launch of Operation Trident by the Indian navy against Pakistan during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
On Indian Navy Day 2021, let's check out why INS Vikrant — the youngest warship to enter the fleet — is more special to India than others.
INS Vikrant joined the ranks of other warships in the Indian Navy such as INS Viraat and INS Vikramaditya. It started undergoing sea trials in August 2021 and is scheduled to enter service in 2022.
Aircraft carriers are one of the most potent marine assets for a country because they enhance the Navy's capability to travel far from its shores and carry out air domination operations. An aircraft carrier generally leads as the capital ship of a battle group. As such a warship is a valuable and (sometimes) vulnerable target, it is usually escorted by destroyers, submarines, missile cruisers, frigates, and supply ships.
Other aircraft carriers in the Indian Navy were either built in Britain or Russia. INS Vikramaditya was originally Soviet-Russian's Admiral Gorshkov while British-built HMS Hermes and HMS Hercules were commissioned into the Indian Navy and rechristened INS Viraat and INS Vikrant were built by the British.
Currently, only five to six countries in the world have the capacity to manufacture aircraft carriers. INS Vikrant — also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) — was, however, built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a public sector shipyard under the Ministry of Shipping, India entered this elite club.
According to the Navy, over 76% of the material used in IAC-1 is indigenous, including 23,000 tonnes of steel, 2,500 km of electric cables, 150 km of pipes, and 2,000 valves.
Since the building of the warship generated employment to 42,000 people, the Navy calculates that about 80-85% of the project cost of approximately Rs 23,000 crore has been pushed back into the Indian economy.