New Delhi, August 25: With the commissioning of the first indigenously-built aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant on September 2, India has joined the select club of countries capable of building aircraft carriers above 40,000 tonnes.
"India has joined the select club of nations including the US, UK, Russia, China and France to design and manufacture aircraft carriers above 40,000 tonnes," Indian Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral SN Ghormade stated.
IAC Vikrant has 2200 compartments, including sides for female officers and Agniveer sailors.
The equipment for the Vikrant was built in 18 states and union territories, including Ambala, Daman, Kolkata, Jalandhar, Kota, Pune, and New Delhi, he said.
The vice chief further stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest for the September 2 commissioning of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant in Kochi.
"We all know that in the Indian Ocean Region, we should have a force level which can act as a deterrent. All efforts were made to make INS Vikramaditya available fast and INS Vikrant was readied quickly," Vice Admiral Ghormade further said.
"We designed the Vikrant for operating the MiG-29K but we would be ultimately deploying the indigenous TEDBF (Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter) fighter aircraft for which we are working with DRDO. For the interim, we are looking at Rafale and F-18 aircraft and trials have been carried out," Vice Admiral added.
Regarding the indigenous solution for drones like Predator UAVs, Vice Adm SN Ghormade stated that "we would like the research and development organisation to build its own capabilities of High Altitude Long Endurance unmanned aerial vehicle."
Vikrant has been designed in-house by the Indian Navy's Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built by CSL, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways. The carrier is named after India's first aircraft carrier, 'Vikrant,' which played an important role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
The 262-meter-long carrier, which is substantially larger and more modern than its predecessor, has a full displacement of close to 45,000 tonnes.
IAC Vikrant has 14 decks and 2,300 compartments that can carry about 1,500 sea warriors. To provide the ship's food requirements, about 10,000 chapatis are cooked in the ship's kitchen, which is known as the ship's gallery.