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INS Vikrant: All You Need To Know About India's First Indigenously Built Aircraft Carrier

After the commissioning, the IAC-1 will be renamed INS Vikrant by way of honouring India's first-ever aircraft carrier of the same name, India's first aircraft carrier which had played a vital role in the 1971 war.

Aircraft carrier INS Vikrant
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This week will see an old favourite of India brought back to life with Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to commission the new INS Vikrant, the country's first indigenously built aircraft carrier, on September 2. The commissioning will take place at the Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi on September 2. The commissioning of INS Vikrant will mark a significant step for the Narendra Modi government's pitch for self-reliance, especially in strategic sectors. According to a statement by the Indian Navy, the commissioning will mark a "historical milestone of realisation of Nation’s commitment towards AatmaNirbharta”. 

INS Vikrant - Made in India

The Indian Aircraft carrier (IAC-1) is the first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier. Designed by the Indian Navy's in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by the Cochin Shipyard, a public sector shipyard, Vikrant has been built with state-of-the-art automation features and is the largest ship ever built in the maritime history of India. It is the largest warship ever to be built in India and has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, whose manufacturing involved major industrial houses in the country as well as over 100 MSMEs.

After the commissioning, the IAC-1 will be renamed INS Vikrant by way of honouring India's first-ever aircraft carrier of the same name. The illustrious predecessor was India's first aircraft carrier which had played a vital role in the 1971 war.

Why commissioning of Vikrant is significant for India

Aircraft carriers are an intrinsic part of any blue water navy and one of the nation's biggest marine assets. Such warships allow the Navy to travel far from its own base country to carry out domination operations in other countries or areas. 

With the commissioning of Vikrant, India will have two operational aircraft carriers, which will bolster the maritime security of the nation. 

The commission is also significant internationally as it adds India's name to a relatively small group of nations with the ability to manufacture such elite aircraft and gives India the ability to project its power overseas.

Past aircraft carriers of India 

While INS Vikrant will be the first indigenously built warship of the nation, India has been using warships since 1961. None of them, including the old INS Vikrant, were made in India. INS Vikrant and INS Viraat, which were inducted into the navy on 1961 and 1987 respectively, were made by the British and previously name 'HMS Hercules' and 'HMS Hermes', The Indian Express noted. Later aircraft carriers like INS Vikramaditya, which the Navy commissioned in 2013, is made in Soviet-Russia and was previously named Admiral Gorshkov.

Not functional till 2023

While the commissioning will take place on September 2, INS Vikrant will not be a deployable platform that can be used in battle for at least the next 15 months. In this period, Vikrant will act like a giant floating air-deck without ‘teeth’.

(With inputs from PTI)

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