Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned India’s first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at Kochi on Friday, putting India into a select league of countries with domestic capability to build such large war ships. The Prime Minister commissioned the carrier, built at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore, at a function organised at the Cochin Shipyard Limited.
The commissioning ceremony was attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Kerala Governor Arif Mohamad Khan, state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and top officials of Navy and Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
Aatmanirbhar Bharat - On Duty🇮🇳#INSVikrant pic.twitter.com/WfHlYzabC0— Ashwini Vaishnaw (@AshwiniVaishnaw) September 2, 2022
Modi unveiled a plaque to mark the induction of INS Vikrant, named after its predecessor that played a crucial role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, into the Navy. The carrier is equipped with state-of-the-art features.
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.
It is an essential part of any navy to be considered as ‘blue water navy’ – which in easy terms means that the navy with an aircraft carrier has the capacity to project that country’s power across the high seas.
The many firsts that make INS Vikrant special:
- It is the largest and most complex warship built in the country.
- According to the Centre, over 76 per cent of the material and equipment on board IAC-1 is indigenous, including “21,500 tonnes of special grade steel developed indigenously and used in Indian Naval Ships for the first time".
- The Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has said that CSL “carried out the detailed engineering of the ship using advanced software which enabled the designer to get a complete 3D view of the compartments of the ship", representing the “first time in the country that a ship of the size of an aircraft carrier is completely modeled in 3D and production drawings extracted from the 3D model".
- The Indian Navy is reported to have said that over 50 Indian manufacturers were directly involved in the project, which is a result of the labours of more than 40,000 people who were employed directly or indirectly in its construction. More than three-fourths of the total project cost has been ploughed back into the Indian economy, reports add. INS Vikrant is an example of Government’s thrust to making India’s defence sector self-reliant.
INS Vikrant is an example of Government’s thrust to making India’s defence sector self-reliant. https://t.co/97GkAzZ3sk— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 2, 2022
- 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".
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