The Indian Navy has urged Cochin Shipyard to deliver INS Vikrant – the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier at the earliest. INS Vikrant, weighing 40,000 tons, is being built by Cochin Shipyard in Kochi, Kerala for the Indian Navy.
“We have asked the Cochin Shipyard to adhere to its deadline, as the project has already missed its multiple deadlines. The way Chinese navy is expanding, we also need to expedite our projects,” a senior naval official told The Week.
Last week, satellite images provided by a US-based private firm confirmed the Type 001A carrier with seven Shenyang J-15 fighters and four helicopters visible on its deck. Key officials of the defence ministry asserted that Type 001A will become China’s second operational carrier after Liaoning.
“We are expecting the delivery of IAC Vikrant by February 2021. Then, its aviation trials will take at least a year to complete before its formal induction into the Navy’s fleet. We expect the shipyard to meet this new deadline,” the official said.
INS Vikrant will represent a mixture of imports (from various sources) and India’s own work. Some of its major solutions will be following the design of INS Vikramaditya: the launch system will be of the same type (STOBAR, which is a ski-jump launch system) and some of the systems will be provided by a Russian company (Rosoboronexport).
The aviation complex was designed by another Russian firm (Nevskoye Design Bureau). However, the ship is to be propelled by U.S.-made turbines to be provided by General Electric, just like the Washington-New Delhi relationship currently propels India in other directions as well.