Indian Navy to induct INS Vikrant aircrat carrier in 2022

The Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is still under construction at Kochi shipyard but Covid-19 hampered its progress, The New Indian Express reports in its December 4 edition, otherwise sea trials would have begun by now. INS Vikrant will be inducted in 2022. The Indian Navy requires at least two aircraft carriers for surveillance.
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India's first indigenous aircraft carrier INS VIKRANT(IAC1) (Picture source : Twiter account Radiance)

The INS Vikrant aircraft carrier was designed by the Directorate of Naval Design of the Indian Navy and the first warship to be built by Cochin Shipyard. She was floated out of its dry dock on 29 December 2011 and was launched on 12 August 2013. The shipThe INS Vikrant aircraft carrier will be able to operate 36 to 40 aircraft including 26 Russian-made MiG-29K, a Russian-made supersonic carrier-based fighter. The MiG-29K is drastically modified from the Mikoyan MiG-29M for naval operations. The airframe and undercarriage are reinforced to withstand the stress experienced upon landing. Folding wings, an arrestor hook, and catapult attachments were added for carrier operation. Other aircraft will include Russian-made Ka-31, Westland Sea King, HAL Dhruv helicopters, and the indigenous light combat aircraft. is powered by four General Electric LM2500+ gas turbines driving two shafts. She can reach a top speed of 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph) with a maximum cruising range of 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km; 9,200 mi).

Besides the Vikrant file, the Indian Navy conducted successful firing of BrahMos anti-ship missile from INS Ranvijay and earlier had successfully test fired Uran missile from INS Kora. The Navy undertakes regular coastal security operations such as Op Sentinel and protection of offsite infrastructure exercises like Prasthan. This had helped timely identification of oil tanker MT New Diamond facing challenges off Sri Lankan coast as she reported major fire onboard.

The Navy has been the major beneficiary of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan : about 90 per cent of ship building has been indigenised and they will achieve 100 percent indigenisation in two to three years, The New Indian Express reports.

The trilateral Malabar exercise has been further expanded with the inclusion of Royal Australian Navy. The multilateral exercise has helped enhance interoperability with like-minded navies.

The anti-submarine warfare capabilities of the Eastern Naval Command (ENS) got a further boost with the recent commissioning of INS Kavaratti, the last Project 28 anti-submarine warfare corvettes.