The engines onboard India’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, being constructed at Cochin Shipyard have been fired up, The Economic Times reported.
According to the report, the Indian Navy and the shipbuilder will now move forward to the harbor trials and then sea trials, with expectations that the warship would be ready for operations by 2022.
INS Vikrant, also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1), is under construction at a facility of Indian state-owned shipbuilder Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) in Kochi, Kerala since 2009. This is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India and is also the largest-ever warship to be constructed in an Indian yard.
The carrier, designed by the Directorate of Naval Design of the Indian Navy, is 262 m long, 60 m wide and displaces around 40,000 tons. It features a Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) configuration with a ski-jump.
INS Vikrant is powered by four General Electric LM2500+ gas turbines, generating over 80 megawatts (110,000 hp) of power, driving two shafts.
The carrier is expected to embark an air group of up to thirty aircraft, which will include up to 24–26 fixed-wing combat aircraft, primarily the Mikoyan MiG-29K, besides carrying 10 Kamov Ka-31 or Westland Sea King helicopters. The Ka-31 will fulfill the airborne early warning (AEW) role and the Sea King will provide anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability. The carrier may also feature the naval version of indigenous HAL Tejas light combat aircraft.
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 officially on 12 August 2013.