INS Vikrant inducted into Indian Navy
- Posted By
Science & Technology
30th Jul, 2022
The Indian Navy took delivery of IAC-1 the ‘Vikrant’, the nation’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier.
About INS Vikrant
- INS Vikrant, also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1), is an aircraft carrier constructed by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) for the Indian Navy.
- It is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India.
- It is named ‘Vikrant’ as a tribute to India’s first aircraft carrier, Vikrant (R11).
- The name Vikrant means “courageous” in Sanskrit.
- Work on the ship’s design began in 1999, and the keel was laid in February 2009.
- The carrier was floated out of its dry dock on 29 December 2011 and was launched on 12 August 2013.
- The new warship is comparable to India’s existing carrier ‘INS Vikramaditya’, which is a 44,500-tonne vessel and can carry up to 34 aircraft, including both fighter jets and helicopters.
- IAC-1 will be “the most potent sea-based asset”, which will operate the Russian-made MiG-29K fighter aircraft and Kamov-31 Air Early Warning Helicopters.
- The new ‘Vikrant’ will also operate the soon-to-be-inducted MH-60R Seahawk multirole helicopter manufactured by the American aerospace and defence company Lockheed Martin.
- It will also take onboard the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) built by Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
Why is it important for India to have an aircraft carrier?
- An aircraft carrier is one of the most potent marine assets for any nation, which enhances a Navy’s capability to travel far from its home shores to carry out air domination operations.
- Many experts consider having an aircraft carrier as essential to be considered a “blue water” navy — that is, a navy that has the capacity to project a nation’s strength and power across the high seas.
- An aircraft carrier generally leads as the capital ship of a carrier strike/ battle group.
- As the aircraft carrier is a prized and sometimes vulnerable target, it is usually escorted in the group by destroyers, missile cruisers, frigates, submarines, and supply ships.
Why is it a big deal that this warship has been Made in India?
- Only five or six nations currently have the capability of manufacturing an aircraft carrier, and India has joined this prestigious club now.
- India has demonstrated the capacity and self-reliance to build what is considered to be one of the most advanced and complex battleships in the world.
- India has had aircraft carriers earlier too — but those were built either by the British or the Russians.
- The ‘INS Vikramaditya’, which was commissioned in 2013 and which is currently the Navy’s only aircraft carrier, started out as the Soviet-Russian warship ‘Admiral Gorshkov’.
- India’s two earlier carriers, the ‘INS Vikrant’ and the ‘INS Viraat’, were originally the British-built ‘HMS Hercules’ and ‘HMS Hermes’.
- These two warships were commissioned into the Navy in 1961 and 1987 respectively.