Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh has stated that India’s 1st Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) will be commissioned into Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command as ‘INS Vikrant’ by mid-2022. It is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
- The commissioning of INS Vikrant will enhance the combat capability, reach and versatility to India’s defence.
- IAC contains nearly 75% indigenous content and has been designed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND).
- It is being built at a cost of INR 24,000 crore and was originally targeted to be commissioned by 2018.
- At present, India has only one Aircraft Carrier – the Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya.
i.IAC, which is 262 metres long and 62 metres wide, will be able to launch 30 aircraft, 20 fighter jets and 10 helicopters. It has a displacement of 40,000 tonnes.
ii.It will be compatible with the MiG-29K and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Navy Aircraft and has a landing strip equipped with STOBAR (Short Take Off But Arrested delivery) mechanism.
iii.The Sea Trials for IAC will be conducted in July 2021. It had already successfully completed the ‘Basin Trials’ in November 2020.
Note – IAC has been named as INS Vikrant, after India’s aircraft carrier which was decommissioned in 1997.
Rajnath Singh reviews work at Karwar Naval Base
Rajnath Singh visited the Karwar Naval Base (also known as INS Kadamba) in Karnataka which is being developed under Project Seabird. During the visit, he stated that India should aim to be among one of the top 3 naval powers in the world in the next 10-12 years period.
- The Karwar Naval Base is currently the 3rd largest naval base after Mumbai, Maharashtra & Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The ongoing Phase-IIA of Project Seabird aims to make it the largest Naval base in Asia.
- Upon completion, the program will provide the Indian Navy with the largest naval base on the west coast and also the largest naval base east of Suez Canal.
- Project Seabird was initiated in 1999 to undertake the construction of a new naval base at Karwar, Karnataka.
i.Indian Government is taking several steps to realize the aim of becoming a Naval Powerhouse. Some of them are
- In June 2021, the Central Government approved INR 50,000 crore for Project-75 India to construct 6 new-generation stealth submarines.
- In April, 2021, Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 323, the 1st unit of the indigenously built ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) Mk III aircraft, was commissioned into the Indian Navy at INS Hansa in Goa.
Indian Army issues tender for 1,750 Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles
Indian Army issued a tender – Request For Information (RFI) for the procurement of 1,750 Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICVs) to replace the Russian-origin BMP-2.
i.An RFI has also been issued for the procurement of 1770 Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCV) for procurement of the next generation Main Battle Tank with planned induction from 2030.
- The FRCV platform is being planned to be procured under the ‘Strategic Partnership’ route of the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.
Recent Related News:
i.June 8, 2021, Indian Navy inducted 3 Indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) MK III into its Eastern Naval Command (ENC) during the ‘322 Dega Flight’ induction ceremony held at INS Dega (Naval Air Station), Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
ii.On February 18, 2021, L&T delivered the 100th & Final K-9 Vajra-T 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled Howitzer guns to the Indian army from L&T’s Armoured Systems Complex (ASC) situated at Hazira near Surat, Gujarat.
About Indian Navy
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy) – New Delhi
About Indian Army
Chief of the Army Staff – Manoj Mukund Naravane,
Headquarters – New Delhi