- Recently, the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) 1 named INS Vikrant, started sea trials (one of the last phases of trials).
- It is likely to be commissioned in 2022. At present, India has only one aircraft carrier, the Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya.
- Earlier, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved issuance of Request for Proposal (RFP) for six advanced submarines for the Indian Navy under Project-75I.
- The vessel, to be named Vikrant after the decommissioned maiden carrier of the Navy.
- India acquired the Vikrant from the United Kingdom in 1961, and the carrier played a stellar role in the 1971 war with Pakistan that led to the birth of Bangladesh.
- Over 76% of the material and equipment on board IAC-1 is indigenous.
- It will have an air component of 30 aircraft, comprising MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 airborne early warning helicopters and the soon-to-be-inducted MH-60R multi-role helicopter, besides the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters.
- It is expected to have a top speed of 30 knots (approximately 55 kmph) and is propelled by four gas turbines. Its endurance is 7,500 nautical miles at 18 knots (32 kmph) speed.
- The shipborne weapons include Barak LR SAM and AK-630, while it has MFSTAR and RAN-40L 3D radars as sensors. The vessel has a Shakti EW (Electronic Warfare) Suite.
- It has a pair of runways and a ‘short take off but arrested recovery’ system to control aircraft operations.
- Adds Combat and Sea Control Capability, especially in the Indian Ocean Region.
- Increased Ability of Air Power: It would offer an incomparable military instrument with its ability to project air power over long distances, including air interdiction, anti-surface warfare, offensive and defensive counter-air, airborne anti-submarine warfare and airborne early warning.
- Self-Reliance: Only five or six nations currently have the capability of manufacturing an aircraft carrier — India joins this elite club now.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT