The launch of the first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant on August 12 will be a momentous occasion for Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) which achieved the feat in four years of laying the keel under trying conditions. The warship is expected to join the Navy fleet by 2018.
Ms Elizabeth Antony, wife of Defence Minister A.K. Antony will launch the ship at a function to be attended among others by Antony, Navy chief Admiral D.K. Joshi and Union minister for shipping G.K. Vasan.
The design of the indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) is the result of a collaborative effort of Indian Navy’s design organization and the design team of CSL. The special steel for the ship was supplied by the Steel Authority of India Ltd. CSL in association with National Metallurgical Research Laboratory developed the weld process and consumables for this special grade steel.
The 263-metre-long IAC can displace about 38,000 tonnes and is propelled by four gas turbines. It can achieve a speed of about 30 knots. It will operate a combination of Russian MiG-29K, Ka31 and the indigenous light combat aircraft, sources in the Navy and CSL said.The flight deck of IAC will feature two take-off runways and a landing strip equipped with three arrester wires.