Indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant – the largest and most complex warship India has ever built – set off on its maiden sea trials today, 50 years after its namesake’s key role in the 1971 war.
A tweet from the Navy Spokesperson’s handle hailed this “proud and historical moment for India”, particularly since it represents another step in the government’s quest for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and the ‘Make in India’ initiative, and promised “many more will follow…”
“India joins a select group of nations having niche capability to indigenously design, build and integrate a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier. Reaching this milestone despite COVID-19 challenges (was) made possible by dedicated efforts of all stakeholders,” the Navy said.
Proud & historic day for India as the reincarnated #Vikrant sails for her maiden sea trials today, in the 50th year of her illustrious predecessor’s key role in victory in the #1971war
Largest & most complex warship ever to be designed & built in India.
Many more will follow… pic.twitter.com/6cYGtAUhBK
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) August 4, 2021
Vikrant, expected to be commissioned into service next year, will add superior combat capability, range and versatility to the country’s naval might, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in June.
“The combat capability, reach and versatility will add formidable capabilities in the defence of our country and help secure India’s interests in the maritime domain,” Mr Singh said after visiting Vikrant, which was docked in Kerala’s Cochin Port at the time.
Vikrant will operate with approximately 24 Russian-built MiG-29K fighter jets – the same fighters already deployed on the INS Vikramaditya, presently the Navy’s only operational aircraft carrier.
“Commissioning of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) next year will be a befitting tribute to 75 years of India’s independence,” Mr Singh added.
He also said the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 boasts of nearly 75 per cent nationally-sourced content – from design specs to steel used in construction, and from key weapons to sensors.