The country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant (IAC-1) will be commissioned in September. IAC Vikrant is the largest warship ever built in India. It is also the first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier for the Indian Navy. IAC Vikrant is 262 meters long and 62 meters wide. It displaces about 43000 t when fully loaded. It has a maximum design speed of 28 nautical miles with an endurance of 7500 Nm.
It has been designed by the in-house Directorate of Naval Design (DND) of the Indian Navy. CSL is a public sector shipyard under the Ministry of Shipping and Waterways. It is capable of carrying over 30 composite aircraft including fighter 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 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics based in Bengaluru.
This aircraft carrier is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. It has a completely state-of-the-art medical complex with latest medical equipment facilities including premier modular OTs, emergency modular OTs, physiotherapy clinics, ICUs, laboratories, CT scanners, X-ray machines, dental complex, isolation wards and telemedicine facilities.
Why is this new warship IAC-1 named ‘INS Vikrant’?
India’s famous first aircraft carrier was also named ‘INS Vikrant’. It has brought glory to India several times during its decades of service before decommissioning in 1997. The original ‘Vikrant’ was a Majestic-class warship weighing 19,500 tonnes. It was acquired from the UK in 1961. It played an important role in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
India had deployed ‘Vikrant’ in the Bay of Bengal. It was used by a fleet of Sea Hawk fighter jets and two air squadrons of Alize surveillance aircraft in attacks on ports, merchant ships and other targets. It was used to prevent the Pakistani army from fleeing through the sea routes.