August 13, 2013 12:51:52 am
In a step that signifies Indias growing self reliance when it comes to the Navy,the first home-made aircraft carrier was formally launched out its dock Monday and is likely to join the fleet by 2018 after final fitting work and integration of all systems on board is completed.
The warship,which has been named Vikrant after Indias first ever aircraft carrier that was inducted in 1961,is the largest ever to be built in India and marks an important milestone in ship-building. Once the 37,500-ton ship is ready for commissioning in 2018,India will join a select club of four nations US,UK,France and Russia that have the capability to build and operate warships of this size.
The launch ceremony was held at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) with the ship entering the water for the first time since construction work started in 2009. There is,however,a long road ahead for the induction of the warship as 25 per cent of the structure is still to be erected at all internal systems and equipment need to be integrated,followed by extensive trials to test the warship.
Todays event marks just the first step in a long journey but at the same time an important one, Defence Minister A K Antony said.
Massive work is required to integrate all systems,even though the engines and gearbox have been put into place. Following the completion of the ship by the end of 2016,it will be handed over to the Navy for extensive trials that will see all its systems,particularly the landing and take off mechanisms,get tested. The ship is expected to be ready for induction into the Indian Navy by the end of 2018.
While the cost of the project has not yet been revealed,the first phase which has now ended with the formal launch is believed to have cost Rs 15,000 crore. The total cost of the carrier is expected to be upwards of Rs 25,000 crore once it is fully equipped.
Once inducted,the warship will be capable of launching a fighter aircraft every three minutes and recovering a fighter every minute. The ship operates as a STOBAR carrier short take-off but arrested recovery.
Fighters onboard will take off on their own power but will be hooked onto the deck for the landing.
The warship is similar in size and operational capability to the INS Vikramaditya,the erstwhile Gorshkov that is expected to be inducted into service in December. Indias sole operating carrier,the INS Viraat,is expected to remain in service till 2018.
The Victorious’ enters water
INS VIKRANT,Indias first indigenous aircraft carrier,named after the countrys first aircraft carrier,was launched in Kochi Monday. It is likely to join the Navys fleet by 2018
262 m is the length of this floating city,62 m its width,37,500 tonnes displacement. 1,600 personnel will man it. Flight deck is as big as
2 football fields. Its cables,laid end to end,would reach Delhi from Kochi
80 MW power will be generated by the 4 US made LM 2500 gas turbines on board,enough to light up a small town. Ships top speed: over 28 knots
36 aircraft,including MiG 29K fighters,KA 31 choppers
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