‘INS Vikrant’ is the name given to the ship purchased from the British Navy in 1961. This warship played a major role in the India-Pakistan war of 1971. The ship was decommissioned in 1997, and a fully indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier has been named ‘INS Vikrant’ in her honour. It is India’s 2nd aircraft carrier.
India’s existing aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya was acquired from Russia. Currently only five or six countries in the world have the capability to build an aircraft carrier. Now India has also joined this list. Designed by the Indian Navy and built at the Kochi Shipyard, the ship is about 7 times larger than any ship built in India so far. The ship is 262 meters long, 62 meters wide and 59 meters high. Its weight is about 43 thousand tons. The 14-story ship has 2,300 rooms. It can accommodate 1,700 people. Moreover, there are separate rooms for women officers.
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23 thousand tons of steel, 2 thousand 500 km of electric cables and 150 km of pipes have been used to make this ship. The four engines on board together generate 88 MW of power. That is enough to power a city. Vikrant ship also has huge medical facilities. It has modern medical equipment including 16 bedded facilities, two operating theatres, laboratories, intensive care units, CT scan wards, X-ray facilities and dental treatment facility.
This aircraft carrier has 2 runways. It can operate and land 30 aircraft such as MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters and MH-60R helicopters from this ship. This warship has been built at a cost of around 23 thousand crore rupees. The first trial run of INS Vikrant was held for 5 days in August last year. Then a total of 4 test runs have been held in October, January and July. Although Prime Minister Modi has dedicated INS Vikrant to the country, it will become fully operational only by the end of next year.
Since 2015, the Navy has been seeking permission to build a third aircraft carrier for the country. If approved, IAC-2 will become India’s second indigenous aircraft carrier. The ship will be named ‘INS Vishal’. It would not be an exaggeration to say that ‘INS Vikrant’ has created a revolution in the Indian Navy by making the possibility of indigenously manufacturing a warship a reality.
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