INS Vikrant: India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier

04:51 PM Jan 27, 2022 | Team Udayavani |
It is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India. It is named 'Vikrant' as a tribute to India's first aircraft carrier, Vikrant (R11). The name Vikrant (Sanskrit vikrānta, literally "stepping beyond") means "courageous".
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India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier IAC Vikrant has set sail for the third phase of sea trials that involve complex manoeuvres to establish specific readings of how the ship performs in various conditions.

The 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier, the largest and most complex warship to be built in India, had successfully completed a five-day maiden sea voyage in August last year.


INS Vikrant, also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1), is an aircraft carrier constructed by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) for the Indian Navy.

It is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India. It is named ‘Vikrant’ as a tribute to India’s first aircraft carrier, Vikrant (R11). The name Vikrant (Sanskrit vikrānta, literally “stepping beyond”) means “courageous”.

The motto of the ship is “Jayema Saṁ Yudhi Spr̥dhaḥ”, which is taken from Rigveda and means “I defeat those who fight against me”.

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 on 12 August 2013.


The basin trials were completed in December 2020, and the ship started sea trials in August 2021.

A defence official said in a tweet on January 17 that the INS Vikrant had “returned after completing 3rd Sea Trials”, days after it was reported to have embarked on its latest round of tests on January 9.

Vikrant is scheduled to be commissioned into service by August 2022, with flight trials of aircraft expected to be completed by mid-2023.

The warship has been built at a cost of around Rs 23,000 crore and its construction propelled India into a select group of countries having capabilities to build state-of-the-art aircraft carriers.

The warship will operate MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters, MH-60R multi-role helicopters. It has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers.

Vikrant has a top speed of around 28 knots and a cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles, officials said.

The IAC is 262 metres long, 62 metres wide and it has a height of 59 metres. Its construction began in 2009.

India currently has only one aircraft carrier — INS Vikramaditya.

Globally, only five or six countries are said to have the capability of designing and executing the construction of an aircraft carrier which, experts say, is “considered the most valuable sea-based asset, [offering] an incomparable military instrument with its ability to project tactical air power over long distances”.

An aircraft carrier serves as the lead vessel of what is known as a strike or battle group and being equally valuable and vulnerable, is escorted by a host of other vessels, including destroyers, submarines and supply ships on its outings on the high seas.

Such is the importance of an aircraft carrier that the Indian Navy is said to be seeking the construction of a second indigenous vessel of an even bigger size than INS Vikrant although reports say that the political leadership is still assessing the need for a third aircraft carrier.


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