The Indian Navy will have its first indigenous aircraft carrier dubbed as the INS Vikrant. The 100 percent made in India aircraft carrier will start sea trials before it is commissioned should it proved seaworthy.
Part of the trials that the aircraft carrier needs to pass, according to the INS (Indian Navy Ship) Navy, is the harbor trials. Next will be the basin trials, then the sea trials.
Should it pass all the trials, the INS Vikrant will become a part of the Indian Navy in 2023, reported Defense News.
Work for the behemoth superstructure began in February 2009 at the Cochin Shipyard. When completed, the ship will carry 26 fighter planes and 10 helicopters. Planes chosen for the Vikrant are the MiG-29K, with Ka-31s, Westland Sea King, and indigenous advanced light helicopter Dhruv.
This ship will carry the INS Navy into the 2023s and beyond. Even jump jets like the F-35B might be on it as well.
Sources say that the harbor phase trial is all wrapped up, but due to COVID-19, there will be slight delays. Basin trials will have all the Vikrant's major systems checked to see if all is working without a hitch, and planes can land on it. The pandemic is making it hard to check the systems and equipment, but ways are sought around it.
The INS Navy will put the INS Vikrant in Visakhapatnam, on the eastern seaboard, to protect that side. At the same time, aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, bought from Russia, is docked at Kanwar on the western coast of India. Delhi has wanted to place three carrier strike groups (CSGs) on all seas surrounding India. A CSG is a group made up of an aircraft carrier, support ships, all sorts of aircraft, and submarines with it. Similar to China.
Specifications of the INS Vikrant
The aircraft carrier is one of the largest ships in the Navy. It is special because it has all the best India has in its first Indian-made carrier. It will be the lead ship for years to come and in Asia, the only one with STOBAR and ski-jumps with modern jets and VTOL soon to come.
From 2009, when work started, to its launching in 2013, the years will culminate in 2023, when it starts operating for the Indian Navy.
Not as big as U.S. supercarriers, INS Vikrant is 860 feet long, a beam of 200 feet, and a draught of 28 feet on it. It is non-nuclear powered with four gas turbines linked to two propeller shafts. Maximum speed is at 28 knots, and an operational range of 7,500 miles. It will be manned by 1,400 servicemen of many ranks too.
Equipped with STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery), though the newest U.S. supercarrier will have EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System), which will undergo testing. Other systems like catapult assisted take-off are used by most U.S. aircraft carriers.
The Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is not nuclear, but for the most part, it is equal to the Shandong and Liaoning Chinese carriers. However, any aircraft carrier with 30+ planes is a threat to any ship.