INS Vikramaditya, which would be Indian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier after the decommissioning of INS Viraat in 2016, is finally set to get its own air defence system.
The navy will be fitting the Barack aerial defence system from on board a soon-to-be-decommissioned Godavari-class vessel on INS Vikramaditya, giving it the much needed protection against aerial threats.
The absence of an aerial defence system as well as a close-in weapon system has restricted the operational capability of the 44,500-ton vessel as it has been relying on escort ships for protection against aerial threats.
“We have plan to install a system from one of our ships which may get decommissioned. The system is functional. We have plans… we will have it installed during the ongoing re-fit of the ship at Karwar,” Vice Admiral A V Subedar, controller of warship production and acquisition said here.
Days after being commissioned in the Navy on November 16, 2013, INS Vikramaditya — India’s biggest ship — sailed from Sevmash shipyard in Russia to India, covering almost 10,000 nautical miles. It was escorted by stealth frigate INS Trikand, destroyer INS Delhi and tanker INS Deepak to protect it from aerial threats.
While India has already announced its plans to decommission INS Viraat, efforts are on to commission the now- under construction Indian Aircraft Carrier (IAC- I) — also named INS Vikrant after India’s first aircraft carrier — by December 2018.
“Presently under construction at CSL, we are making best efforts to meet December 2018 delivery date as per CCS sanction. As regard to IAC- II, we are at conceptual studies and feasibility will be taken,” Subedar said.