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27th August 2022 (11 Topics)

‘Vikrant’: India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier

Context

The nation’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1) will be commissioned in September.

About

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1: Vikrant

  • IAC Vikrant is the largest warship to have ever been built in India and is also the first indigenously designed and built Aircraft Carrier for the Indian Navy.
  • IAC Vikrant is 262 m long and 62 m wide and displaces approx 43000 T when fully loaded, having a maximum designed speed of 28 Knots with an endurance of 7500 NM.
  • Designed by Indian Navy's in-house Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built by the CSL, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways
  • It is capable of carrying more than 30 assorted aircraft including combat jets and helicopters.
  • The ship will be capable of operating 30 aircraft including MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 Air Early Warning Helicopters, MH-60R Seahawk multi-role helicopters, as well as the Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) built by Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, and the indigenously manufactured Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy).
  • The carrier is equipped with the latest state of the art equipment and systems.
    • It boasts a fully-fledged state of the art medical complex with the latest medical equipment facilities including major modular OT, emergency modular OT, physiotherapy clinic, ICU, laboratories, CT scanner, X-Ray machines, dental complex, isolation ward and telemedicine facilities.

Why will the new warship IAC-1 be named ‘INS Vikrant’?

  • The name ‘INS Vikrant’ originally belonged to India’s much-loved first aircraft carrier, a source of immense national pride over several decades of service before it was decommissioned in 1997.
  • The original ‘Vikrant’, a Majestic-class 19,500-tonne warship, which was acquired from the UK in 1961, played a stellar role in the 1971 War with Pakistan.
  • India deployed the ‘Vikrant’ in the Bay of Bengal, and its two air squadrons of Sea Hawk fighter jets and Alize surveillance aircraft were used in strikes on ports, merchant ships, and other targets, and to prevent Pakistani forces from escaping through maritime routes.

Proposed carrier:

  • Since 2015, the Navy has been seeking approval to build a third aircraft carrier for the country, which, if approved, will become India’s second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-2).
  • This proposed carrier, to be named ‘INS Vishal’, is intended to be a giant 65,000-tonne vessel, much bigger than both IAC-1 and the ‘INS Vikramaditya’.

Do you Know?

  • United States Navy has 11 aircraft carriers.
  • China too is moving ahead aggressively with its aircraft carrier programme. It has two carriers now, a third is in the making, and another two are likely to be commissioned within a decade.
  • Navy officials point out that even if India gives the IAC-2 project the go-ahead now, it will be over 10 years before the warship is commissioned.
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