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India’s First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant Handed Over to Indian Navy

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Indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant handed over to Indian Navy

The Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, handed the Indian Navy with the India’s First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant, the largest warship built in India.

  • It is resurrected from India’s first aircraft carrier – the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant, and is reincarnated as IAC Vikrant.
  • On August 15, 2022, during the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, it is most likely to be commissioned into the Indian Navy as the INS Vikrant.

The documents relating to the vessel’s delivery were signed by the Commanding Officer Designate of Vikrant, Commodore Vidyadhar Harke, and the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Cochin Shipyard, Madhu S Nair.

Historical Relevance

i. India’s first aircraft carrierINS Vikrant was repurposed from Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Hercules, a Royal Navy aircraft carrier of the United Kingdom (UK).

  • In 1961, it was commissioned into the Indian Navy in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, who was India’s High Commissioner to the UK.

ii. INS Vikrant, played a vital role in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 by blockading Bangladesh, with its Seahawk fighter aircraft causing havoc on Chittagong and Cox’s Bazaar.

  • It was decommissioned after 36 years of outstanding service to the Indian Navy on January 31, 1997 and has been a floating maritime museum off the coast of Mumbai (Maharashtra) since 1997.

IAC Vikrant

i. IAC Vikrant was designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and was built at a cost of around 20,000 crore. It contains 76 % indigenous content.

  • In accordance with the terms of the contract between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and CSL, the IAC project was completed in three phases: the first phase in 2007, the second phase in December 2014, and the third phase in October 2019.
  • The foundation of the ship was laid in February 2009.

ii. The aircraft carrier will first be deployed to the Western Naval Command, which is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

iii. Vikrant has placed India among a select group of nations with the exclusive capability to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier—along with the United States (US), the UK, Russia, France, and China.


i. IAC Vikrant is a 262-meter-long carrier that is much longer and more advanced than its predecessor, with a full capacity of around 45,000 tonnes.

  • The aircraft carrier has a maximum speed of 28 knots and is propelled by four gas turbines with a total 88 MW (megawatts) of power.

ii. The ship would be capable of operating a 30 aircraft air wing, including the new MH-60R multi-role helicopters from Lockheed Martin, Russian MIG-29K fighter jets, and Kamov-31 helicopters.

  • Additionally, it will also have indigenously built Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) from state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) & Light Combat Aircraft (Naval Version).

iii. The new IAC also features a unique aircraft operation mode known as STOBAR (Short Take-Off but Arrested Landing), which entails the use of a ski-jump for launching aircraft as well as a set of “arrester wires” for their recovery onboard.

Major Highlights

i. The aircraft carrier is equipped with a significant amount of indigenous machinery and equipment from leading Indian industrial companies including Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Garden Research Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Keltron, Kirloskar, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Wartsila India, etc., as well as more than 100 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

ii. The production of indigenous warship-grade steel through a collaboration between the Navy, DRDO, and the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has enabled India to become self-sufficient in warship steel.

  • Currently, indigenous steel is used to manufacture all warships being built in India.

Recent Related News:

In June 2022, Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 325, operating the indigenously built Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK- III aircraft, was commissioned into the Indian Navy during an event in an Indian Naval Ship (INS) Utkrosh, Port Blair of Andaman and Nicobar Island.

  • The ‘Eagle Owl’ is the name of the Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 325.

About Indian Navy:

Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral R Hari Kumar
Founded 26 January 1950
Headquarters New Delhi, Delhi