Aircraft Carrier Vikrant sets off for third phase of sea trials

By Vipin VijayanFirst Published Jan 9, 2022, 3:46 PM IST

 IAC Vikrant will carry out complex manoeuvres to establish specific readings of how the ship performs in various conditions.

Days after President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu reviewed the progress of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant has set off for the third phase of sea trials. 

It is pertinent to mention here that the Indian Navy is testing the French-origin Rafale maritime fighter aircraft in Goa. The Indian Navy had in 2017 issued a Request for Information to procure 57 multi-role combat jets for its aircraft carrier. 

The first sea trials of IAC Vikrant commenced on August 4 last year during which it returned to the Cochin Shipyards after a gap of five days. The maiden sea sorties were conducted to establish propulsion, navigational suite and basic operations. During the second sea trial held in October-November, the carrier was put through its paces in terms of various machinery and flight trials.  

Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal informed that the ship in fact was out for 10 days proving its sustenance in its very second sortie. Various seamanship evolutions were also successfully cleared during the second sortie. 

In its third sortie, IAC Vikrant will sail to carry out complex manoeuvres to establish specific readings of how the ship performs in various conditions. Additionally, several sensor suites of the warship would also be tested. It is expected that the aircraft carrier, weighing 40,000-tonnes, will be commissioned into the Indian Navy in August this year. It is considered the largest and most complex warship being built in India.

The ship has been built at a cost of over Rs 23,000 crore and its construction propelled India into a select group of nations having capabilities to build modern aircraft carriers. Once it joins the service, the IAC Vikrant will be christened as INS Vikrant. The ship has over 2,300 compartments and is designed to house a crew of around 1,700 people. It also has specialised cabins to accommodate women officers.

The ship has a top speed of 28 knots and a cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles. The IAC is 262 metres long, 62 metres wide and has a height of 59 metres. Its construction began in 2009 with 76 per cent of the equipment being indigenously sourced. India currently operates only one aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya.

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Last Updated Jan 9, 2022, 3:46 PM IST