Indian Navy is expected to get delivery of 45,000-tonne indigenous INS Vikrant aircraft carrier and 7,500-tonne Visakhapatnam class stealth guided missile destroyer by end-2021 to add to its capability to defend and dominate the Indo-Pacific region.
The indigenous aircraft carrier and INS Visakhapatnam will be formally commissioned into the Navy next year. “Contractual clauses come alive once the warship is handed over to Indian Navy but commissioning takes times as the vessel is to be tested by the Naval personnel for its capability,” said a former Western Navy commander.
While the Chinese Navy has commissioned three main battleships last Saturday at Sanya in Hainan naval facility in disputed South China Sea, the Cochin shipyard will start final trials of INS Vikrant as precursor of handing over the carrier to the Indian Navy. The Mazagon Dockyards will complete trials of INS Visakhapatnam and deliver the stealth destroyer close to the Indian Navy Day.
Powered by General Electric turbines, INS Vikrant will carry two squadrons of MiG-29K fighters and 10 Kamov Ka -31 helicopters. The aircraft carrier strike force will have a range of over 15000 kilometre with Barak surface to air missile to give aerial protection to the vessel. INS Visakhapatnam’s main attack weapon is anti-ship and land attack BrahMos cruise missiles apart from torpedos for anti-submarine warfare.