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India's first indigenous aircraft carrier begins Phase-II of sea trials

Monday, 25 Oct 2021
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India's first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant set sail on 24 October 2021 from Kochi, Kerala for the second sea trials, ahead of its planned induction into the Indian Navy by August 2022.

The 40,000 tonne aircraft carrier, the largest and most complex warship to be built in India, successfully completed a five-day maiden sea voyage in August 2021.

The warship has been built at a cost of around Rs 23,000 crore and its construction has propelled India into a select group of countries having capabilities to build modern aircraft carriers.

The warship will operate MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters, MH-60R multi-role helicopters. It has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers.

Vikrant has a top speed of around 28 knots and a cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles.

The IAC is 262 mtr long, 62 mtr wide and has a height of 59 mtr. Its construction began in 2009. The warship has been built by Cochin Shipyard (CSL). India currently has only one aircraft carrier -- INS Vikramaditya.

The Indian Navy has been focusing on significantly bolstering its overall capabilities in view of China's growing efforts to increase its military presence in the Indian Ocean Region.

The Indian Ocean, considered the backyard of the Indian Navy, is critical to the country's strategic interests.

 
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