After several delays, the Indian Navy is confident of commissioning Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1) Vikrant, currently under construction at Kochi, by October 2020.
More about IAC-1:
- “IAC-I is expected to join the Navy in October 2020.
- The carrier is likely to be handed over to the Navy by December 2018 after which it will be put through harbour and sea trials before commissioning.
- Vikrant borrows its name from India’s first aircraft carrier, the 20,000-tonne INS Vikrant purchased from the U.K.
- India currently operates the 44,500-tonne INS Vikramaditya procured from Russia.
- Like INS Vikramaditya, Vikrant too would employ the STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) mechanism with a ski-jump and arrestor cables to launch and recover aircraft.
- It can operate 20 fighter jets and 10 other aircraft. The Mig-29K fighters currently in service with the Navy would also be on the deck of Vikrant.
- The IAC-I project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in 2003 and the keel for the 260-metre ship was laid in 2009.
- The Navy has already set sights on the IAC-II, which it envisages to be conventionally powered and displace 65,000 tonnes with an advanced Catapult-based Aircraft Launch Mechanism (CATOBAR) similar to the U.S. Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) for aircraft launch and recovery.