Top 10 facts to know about INS Vikrant that puts India among naval elite club
Made on budget of $3 billion, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant has brought India to club of world’s naval elites, a small group of countries with more than one aircraft carrier or helicopter carrier in service. It also makes India to become only the third country, after the United Kingdom and China, to have commissioned a completely domestically built aircraft carrier in last three years.
“The goal may be difficult. The challenges may be big. But when India makes up its mind, no goal is impossible,” India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as he commissioned the carrier at a ceremony at the Cochin Shipyard in Kerala state. “Till now, this type of aircraft carrier was made only by developed countries. Today, India by entering this league has taken one more step towards becoming a developed nation,” Mr. Modi said stressing that the Indo-Pacific region remained “a major security priority” for India.
Top 10 facts to know about India’s historical INS Vikrant:
- INS Vikrant is the largest warship made indigenously in India – 262 metres long and 62 metres wide. It has capacity to hold 30 aircraft on board at a time, including MiG-29K fighter jets and helicopters. The warship can also accommodate a crew of about 1,600 people.
- Speaking on the commissioning ceremony of INS Vikrant, Prime Minister Narendra Moddi highlighted that the warship is the reflection of country’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission. “Today, India has entered the list of countries that can build such large warships indigenously. Vikrant has infused new confidence,” he added.
- During the same ceremony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also inaugurated the new ensign of Indian Navy. The new ensign has the national flag on the upper canton, a blue octagonal shape with the national emblem sits atop an anchor, superimposed on a shield with the navy’s motto.
- Showcasing the new ensign in a video, Navy said, “The octagonal shape with twin golden borders draws inspiration from the seal of the great Indian emperor, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, whose visionary maritime outlook established a credible naval fleet.”
- PM Modi noted that by adopting a new naval ensign India has removed burden of slavery history.
- In the beginning, Vikrant is to have MiG and some choppers. It will later add on more aircrafts that are being procured by the Navy.
- Work on the vessel was under process for over a decade. Since August last year, multiple phases of INS Vikrant’s sea trials have been completed.
- Currently, India has only one aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, which is built on a Russian platform.
- INS Vikrant is named after its predecessor, that had a major role during India’s 1971 war against Pakistan for the liberation of Bangladesh.
- The addition of INS Vikrant is a major accomplishment to Indian Navy’s arsenal, enabling it to now deploy an aircraft carrier on both of India’s eastern and western seaboards, thereby expanding its maritime presence.
“India is sending out the message that it has the power, it has the aircraft carriers and therefore the air power to dominate the distant reaches of the Indian Ocean,” said Ajai Shukla, a former Indian military officer turned defense analyst.