THE Indian Navy on Thursday took delivery of the country’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’ from its manufacturer, Cochin Shipyard Ltd, ahead of its scheduled commissioning next month.
The aircraft carrier, built at a cost of around Rs 20,000 crore, successfully completed the fourth and final phase of sea trials three weeks back. With the delivery of ‘Vikrant’, India has joined a select group of nations having the niche capability to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier. The Indian Navy described the delivery of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) as “historic” as it coincides with the celebrations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. The warship is set to operate MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters and MH-60R multi-role helicopters. It has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers.