Kochi, Oct. 12 (IANS): Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Thursday reviewed the progress of construction of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) “Vikrant” at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd.
The Navy Chief accompanied by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral A.R. Karve, and other senior officials of the Navy took a walk around the ship to get a firsthand knowledge of the progress of work onboard and was briefed on the various construction activities.
Later, Admiral Lanba held discussions with the Chairman and Managing Director of CSL Madhu S. Nair.
The keel of the IAC was laid in February 2009 and the ship was launched in August 2013. Work on the hull structure is nearing completion and outfitting activities on various equipment and systems are progressing at present.
India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant, a 40,000 tonne aircraft carrier, is being built for the Indian Navy by Cochin Shipyard Ltd. It is the first aircraft carrier to be designed by the Directorate of Naval Design of the Indian Navy.
At present, India has only one aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya – a modified Russian Kiev-class aircraft carrier. India at any time requires three aircraft carriers, one each on the east and west coasts, and a third one as a replacement for any of the ships that go for refit.
The other aircraft carrier India had – INS Viraat, a British-built ship serving with the Indian Navy and the oldest carrier in service, was retired on March 6.
The delivery date for the carrier at present is 2023 as per the shipyard, even as the Indian Navy has said it will be ready by 2018.