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Indeed, A Historic Moment: Indian Navy On Aircraft Carrier’s Maiden Sea Voyage

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 successfully completed its maiden sea voyage after setting off from Kochi four days before.

KOCHI, India — INS Vikrant’s maiden sea voyage has thrust India into an elite group of countries with bragging rights about the rare feat of having indigenously built an Aircraft Carrier ship.

As Indigenous Aircraft Carrier ‘Vikrant’ successfully completed its maiden sea voyage, Vice Admiral A.K. Chawla lauded the effort of the Indian Navy.

“It is indeed a historic moment for India,” he said.

“We are going back to Kochi after five days of trials at sea. We are going back with a great sense of satisfaction. This has been possible with dedicated teamwork.”

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 Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1, India would join a select group of nations with the capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier.

An Indian make of the capital ship renders it the poster child of the Make in India initiative. ‘Vikrant’ delivery would also strengthen India’s position in the Indian Ocean Region and its quest for a blue water Navy.

‘Vikrant’ successfully accomplished its maiden sea voyage on Aug. 8, for which it had set off from Kochi on Aug. 4. Trials progressed as planned, and system parameters proved satisfactory.

“Indigenous Aircraft Carrier ‘Vikrant’ successfully accomplished its maiden sea voyage today,” said Commander Vivek Madhwal, Indian Navy spokesperson.

“Trials progressed as planned, and system parameters proved satisfactory,”

The carrier would continue to undergo a series of sea trials to prove all equipment and systems before handing over the vessel to the Indian Navy.

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier ‘Vikrant,’ designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited, India’s largest shipbuilding facility, as per an official release by the Ministry of Defence.

It is a leading example of the nation’s quest for “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” or self-reliant growth and the Indian Navy’s “Make in India” initiative, with more than 76 percent indigenous content.

The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is 262 meters long, 62 meters at the widest part, and has a height of 59 meters, 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 a 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 sail, the ship’s performance, including hull, main propulsion, power generation, Distribution, and auxiliary equipment, were tested, Commander Madhwal said.

“Trials, which were reviewed by Vice Admiral A.K. Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command on the last day, have progressed as planned, and system parameters have been proved satisfactory,” he said.

The successful completion of maiden trials sorties—despite challenges faced due to the pandemic and Covid-19 protocols in place—is testimony to the dedicated efforts of many stakeholders for over a decade. This is a significant milestone activity and a historical event. The carrier would undergo a series of Sea Trials to prove all equipment and systems before its delivery in 2022.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Krishna Kakani