As Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) ‘Vikrant’ on Sunday successfully completed its maiden sea voyage, Vice Admiral AK Chawla lauded the effort of the Indian Navy and said that it is indeed a historic moment for the country. Speaking to ANI, Vice Admiral Chawla said, “It is indeed a historic moment for India. We are going back to Kochi after five days of trials at sea.” “We’re going back with a great sense of satisfaction. This has been possible with dedicated teamwork,” said the Vice-Admiral.

‘Vikrant’ successfully accomplished its maiden sea voyage yesterday for which she had sailed on August 4 from Kochi. Trials progressed as planned and system parameters proved satisfactory. The carrier would continue to undergo series of sea trials to prove all equipment and systems prior to handing over the vessel to the Indian Navy.

As per the official release by the Defence Ministry, IAC ‘Vikrant’ designed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Shipping(MoS). IAC is a leading example of the nation’s quest for “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” and the Indian Navy’s “Make in India” initiative, with more than 76 per cent indigenous content.

The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is 262 metres long, 62 metres at the widest part and a height of 59 metre including the superstructure. There are 14 decks in all, including five in the superstructure. The ship has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1700 people, having gender-sensitive accommodation spaces for women officers. The ship with high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, has been designed to accommodate an assortment of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.

During the maiden sailing, the ship’s performance, including hull, main propulsion, Power Generation and Distribution (PGD) and auxiliary equipment were tested.

Trials, which were reviewed by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command on the last day; have progressed as planned and system parameters have been proved satisfactory. The successful completion of maiden trials sorties, despite challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID protocols in place, is testimony to the dedicated efforts of large number of stakeholders for over a decade. This is a major milestone activity and historical event. The carrier would undergo a series of Sea Trials to prove all equipment and systems prior to its delivery in 2022.

Delivery of Vikrant is being targeted to coincide with celebrations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. With the delivery of IAC, India would join a select group of nations with the capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier and provides thrust to Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Delivery of IAC would also strengthen India’s position in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and its quest for a blue water Navy.