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India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant to be delivered by 2021

Vice Admiral A K Saxena, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition (CWP&A), Indian Navy (Photo source: Indian Navy)

Country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant, which is currently in the advanced stage of construction, is expected to be delivered by to the Indian Navy in 2021 for advanced trials, a senior Navy officer said today.

Vice Admiral AK Saxena, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition in the Indian Navy said “Starting of gas turbines will take place in the third quarter of this year. Basic trials will be conducted in February-March next year and Contractor sea trials after that. It will be delivered to the Navy in 2021.” And, the flight trials will start after the delivery, Saxena added.

Saxena was responding to questions on the sidelines of a curtain raiser event for an upcoming seminar on ‘Nation building through Shipbuilding’ which is being jointly organized by the Indian Navy and industry body FICCI from July 25-26.

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Another senior officer confirmed that the aviation trials scheduled to start in February 2021 is expected to last for about two years and if all goes well, the carrier will be commissioned into the Indian Navy in early 2023.

To a question about the IAC-2, Saxena said that there has not been much progress on the proposed IAC-2, which is still on the drawing board.

According to him, “All requirements are more or less accepted. However, it is more about availability of finances versus the requirements. And the project is still under deliberation.”

The Vikrant weighing 40,000 tons is being built by Cochin Shipyard Limited and it works on Short Take-Off but Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) mechanism similar to the present carrier INS Vikramaditya with an angular ski-jump.

As has been reported earlier, the ship is powered by four General Electric (GE) gas turbines and it will operate Russian origin Mig-29K fighters which also take off from INS Vikramaditya.

India needs to expand its capability in building world class warships to merchant vessels and a vibrant shipbuilding industry contributes to national GDP and generates substantial business and employment opportunities in both upstream and downstream ends, Saxena said in his opening remarks .

“While India has developed a national capability to design and build world class warships and submarines, we need to design and build our strengths in merchant marine with vessels for inland waterways, coastal ships and specialised merchant ships in the long run,” Saxena added.

While the order books of Indian shipyards for building warship projects has been supported by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, there is a need to raise the competitiveness in manufacture of indigenous ship borne equipment to generate the required volumes for long term sustenance of the industry, the Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition pointed out.

According to him the shipbuilding has been identified as a key strategic sector under ‘Make in India’ initiative as growth in the sector leads to spinoffs for industries such as steel, electrical and engineering equipment, port infrastructure, trade and shipping services. It also has huge potential for employment generation.

Said FICCI Advisor Commodore Sujeet Samaddar NM (Retd) going by the world history, no nation has achieved great power status unless it has an indigenous shipbuilding capability. Shipbuilding has a direct relationship with nation building, he said.

Samaddar said that most estimates quote that one job in a shipyard results in 60-65 jobs outside in direct employment.

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Source: Financial Express