After much delay, the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), being built in Cochin, is ready for its launch on August 12. At the same time, the second carrier, INS Vikramaditya, will be undergoing extensive final sea trials in Russia.
While Vikramaditya should join the navy in early 2014, the INS Vikrant would take another three years. The 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier will cross a major development milestone when the ship would be launched by defence minister A.K. Antony, marking the end of the first phase of construction.
INS Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard ( Image Courtesy - thehindu.com )
The launch would mean that the ship would be out of dry dock after completion of work related to fitting all underwater equipment like engines, gear box, shafting and diesel alternators. The construction of the complex warship was undertaken in two phases. Sources in the shipyard said some of the work from phase-II has already started and it is estimated that in two years the ship would be 90 per cent complete.
Despite the delays, the construction of an indigenous carrier is a major boost to country's ship-building capabilities. At the moment, 46 of 47 new naval warships are being built in domestic shipyards. Stealth frigate INS Trikand, which was commissioned in Russia, was the last ship ordered from abroad. Now only the delivery of INS Vikramaditya is awaited.
News Courtesy - indiatoday.intoday.in