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India’s New Aircraft Carrier “INS Vikrant” Is Almost Ready For War

Preparing an aircraft carrier for regular operations is no small feat, and this week the Indian Ministry of Defense announced that the maiden sea trials of its indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant have progressed well, and the second phase of the trails is expected to take this month or its undergoing, while the third phase is planned for December.

“Vikrant is expected to be delivered to the Navy in April and likely to be commissioned in August 2022,” an official said from the Ministry of Defense said in a statement, and added that the commissioning of the flagship carrier was set to coincide with 75 years of Indian independence.

The INS Vikrant was designed by the Directorate of Naval Design of the Indian Navy. She is the first warship to be built at the Cochin Shipyard, the largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility in India. The facility is located in the port-city of Kochi. The carrier was floated out of its dock in late December 2011, and was launched in August 2013.

More than 76 percent of the carrier’s materials, including the superstructure, were made from “indigenous content.”

Trials Continue

IN phase-I trial Indian Navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier went into the seas for the first time. The five-day-long sea trials along with helicopter operations are being considered a big breakthrough, but the crew is now gearing up for fighter jet trials to be ready for commissioning next year.

Sea King heli landing on INS Vikrant during Phase-I trial

Vikrant completed her maiden sea trial in August, during which the warship’s performance, including hull, main propulsion, power generation and distribution and auxiliary equipment were tested. The results were extremely satisfactory and the engine showed 100% performance and some issues which had come up were being addressed, Indian officials said.

The Phase-II trials of the carrier will include a complete check of the habitat, including each of the more than 2,300 compartments. While in Phase-III trials Navy will test fighter aircraft take-off and landing.

About the Carrier

At 262 meters in length and 62 meters wide, with a displacement of 39,000 tons, she is smaller than the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered supercarriers or even its amphibious assault ships (LHAs). INS Vikrant also features a STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) configuration with a ski-jump. However, the warship certainly will increase the capabilities of the Indian Navy.

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