The basin trials of the India Navy’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, was conducted successfully at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi, Kerala on Nov. 30.
The trials were conducted in the presence of Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of Southern Naval Command (SNC); and Madhu Nair, Chairman of CSL.
The trials involved proving the ship’s main propulsion plant and a host of other ship systems in harbour. With the completion of the basin trials, the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1) project enters the final phase, with the sea trials expected in early 2021.
INS Vikrant, also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1), is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India and is also the largest-ever warship to be constructed in an Indian shipyard. The vessel is under construction at the facility of Indian state-owned shipbuilder CSL since 2009.
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.