WHY IN THE NEWS?
India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, conducted its maiden sea trials on August 4, 2021 encouraging the making of military equipment within India.
About INS Vikrant
INS Vikrant is a 44000-tonne carrier, built at the cost of Rs 23,000 crore. It has been built at the state-owned Cochin Shipyard in Kochi, Kerala. About 550 Indian firms including 100 MSMEs are providing services to construct this warship. It is the largest and most complex warship that has been designed and built in India for the first time. With this aircraft, India now joins a select group of nations having the capability to indigenously design, build and integrate such aircraft carriers. Countries like US, UK, Russia, Japan, Italy and France have such capacities. South Korea is also pursuing a carrier programme.
Features of the aircraft carrier
The aircraft carrier has a top speed of 28 knots or 52 kmph while cruising speed of 18 knots. It has an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles or 13,650 km. Warship comprises of 14 decks with 2300 compartments which can carry about 1700 crew.
Keel for the warship was laid in 2009. It was scheduled to join the fleet in December 2018 but it got delayed due to the complexity of making it. The warship was set out at sea in 2013. Cost of making also escalated beyond the originally sanctioned amount of Rs 19,341 crore
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