Everything You Need To Know About India’s First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier- The Elite “INS Vikrant”
INS Vikrant: India is all set to touch a historical milestone with regard to the country’s Atma Nirbharta commitment with its first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier soon to be commissioned with a new name, “Vikrant.''
The commissioning will be held on September 2, 2022, as per the announcement by the Indian Navy. Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi will grace the occasion as the chief guest.
The INS Vikrant
Vikrant is one of the Indian Navy’s most passionate indigenous projects. It is India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier for the Navy. Vikrant places the nation on the pedestal of the elite club of nations that have the expertise and ability to design and construct such robust, quality warships.
Designed by the Warship Design Bureau (WDB), the Indian Navy’s in-house organization, and manufactured by Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL), the warship was delivered to the Navy on July 28.
The Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) is a public sector shipyard under the Ministry of Ports Shipping & Waterways. With the fourth and last phase of ship trials successfully completed six weeks before, the ship is all set to be commissioned.
The Importance Of Aircraft Carriers
Powerful marine assets are essential for nations to not only project their marine powers, but also carry out domination operations. An aircraft carrier is no exception. An aircraft carrier makes it possible for a nation to travel far from its local shores for domination operations.
An aircraft carrier is often the capital ship of a battle group. Since it is a vulnerable target, many destroyers, frigates, and missile cruisers escort it.
It is a strong belief of many nations that a powerful aircraft carrier is a must for a nation’s navy to be called a “blue-water” navy. Simply stated, a “blue-water” navy that can project national power across the high seas.
India’s First Ever Indigenous Project
With INS Vikrant, India enters in the elite club of nations that have the power and capacity of building an aircraft carrier. At present, there are only 5-6 nations that are members of the prestigious club, and India is soon to join the list. This comes as a prestigious moment for the country.
INS Vikrant is proof that India has the capacity, self-reliance, and expertise to build an advanced battleship like the INS Vikrant.
It is not the first time for India to have an aircraft carrier. However, those aircraft were actually built by Russians or the British. For instance, the “INS Vikramaditya” is the Indian Navy’s sole aircraft, but it is important to note that the aircraft was in reality a Soviet-Russian warship.
The “INS Viraat” and the “INS Vikrant” are essentially manufactured by the British. These two were previously known as the “HMS Hermes” and the “HMS Hercules” respectively.
However, the INS Vikrant is a special entrant, as it is India’s first indigenously designed aircraft carrier. The fact fills the Indian Navy with immense pride. This proves to be another milestone touched for the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Mission.
Why Will IAC-1 Be Christened To INS Vikrant?
There is a special reason behind the name “INS Vikrant”. Actually, the name belonged to India’s first aircraft carrier which got decommissioned in 1997.
The previously owned Vikrant was a Majestic-class 19,500-tonne warship. In 1971, the warship was acquired from the UK. The original warship played a vital role during the war with Pakistan in 1971. The aircraft was made to use in the Bay of Bengal, along with Alize surveillance aircraft and two air squadrons of Sea Hawk fighter jets, to stop Pakistani forces from escaping.
The first sea trial of the IAC-1 was held last year. The Navy celebrated the proud day and the successful trial of the IAC-1 in the 50th year of its predecessor’s role in the 1971 war victory. The Navy calls the reincarnation of Vikrant a gesture to offer tribute to our country’s freedom fighters and the brave soldiers who brought victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
Weapons And Equipment With The New Vikrant
The Navy put forward an official release on August 25, which said that the INS Vikrant will be the most potent sea-based asset. The INS Vikrant will be able to operate 30 aircraft. These aircraft may include Kamov-31 Air Early Warning Helicopters, MiG-29K fighter jets, Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), the indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy), and the MiG-29K fighter jets.
The IAC has a novel ski-jump launching aircraft that come with three “arrestor wires” that can be used for their recovery onboard.
The Kamov-31 and MiG-29K are already being used on the INS Vikramaditya, a 44,500-tonne vessel capable of carrying 34 aircraft. Moreover, the MH-60R Seahawks are built by Lockheed Martin (American aerospace and defense company).
theINS Vikrant is special for many reasons. Firstly, it will be the largest warship ever manufactured by an Indian shipyard. Secondly, once commissioned, the warship will be an incomparable military instrument, thanks to its efficiency to project Air Power over long distances. This includes Anti-Surface Warfare, Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare, offensive and defensive Counter-Air, and Airborne Early Warning.
Some Other Features Of INS Vikrant
The Vikrant is a 262 m long and 62 m wide beauty, which has a maximum designed speed of 28 knots with an endurance of 7500 NM. It displaces around 43,000 tonnes when fully loaded.
Moreover, there are 2,200 compartments constructed for a crew of approximately 1,600. The warship also has specialized cabins for women officers and sailors. A very high degree of automation is used for machinery operations, survivability, and ship navigation. The INS Vikrant is equipped with the most advanced equipment and systems. It also has a medical complex with state-of-the-art medical facilities, including emergency modular OT, major modular OT, ICU, CT scanner, physiotherapy clinic, laboratories, dental complexion, X-Ray machines, telemedicine facilities, and isolation wards.
What Are The “Indigenous Components” In INS Vikrant?
The warship steel used for the construction of the INS Vikrant was completely indigenized due to India’s adoption to be self-reliant in the field. The steel needed for the IAC-1 was indigenized through the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), with the collaboration of the Indian Navy and the Defense Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL).
As per the Navy, the indigenous content of the project is around 76%. In this 76% come 2,500 km of electric cables, 2,000 valves, 23,000 tonnes of steel, 150 km of pipes, and finished products like galley equipment, refrigeration and air conditioning plants, hull boats, and steering gear.
Is INS Vikrant Paving The Way For More Carriers To Come?
The Navy has been trying hard to get the approval to construct a third aircraft carrier for India since 2015. If the Navy succeeds to get the approval, it will become another reason for India to be proud. This third aircraft will become the country’s second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-2), which will be named “INS Vishal.”
The Navy is attempting hard to persuade the government of the third carrier’s “operational necessity>” The Navy also argues that in order to project power, it becomes important for India to venture far out on the oceans. This purpose can only be achieved with an aircraft carrier.
However, the Navy is still struggling to get approval on the same by the government.
What About The Other Nations?
At present, the United States Navy has 11 stupendous aircraft carriers. Additionally, China, too, is passionate about manufacturing its third carrier.