The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) 1, which will be called INS Vikrant once it enters service with the Indian Navy, began another set of sea trials on Sunday to carry out complex manoeuvres in high seas ahead of its planned induction in August.
The 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier, the largest and most complex warship to be built in India, successfully completed a five-day maiden sea voyage in August and underwent 10-day sea trials in October.
“The IAC now sails to undertake complex manoeuvres to establish specific readings of how the ship performs in various conditions,” Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
“After two successive high profile visits, the President and Vice President of India, within a span of less than two weeks, IAC Vikrant is heading out for the next set of sea trials,” Commander Madhwal said.
“Both dignitaries, having reviewed the progress, had conveyed their satisfaction and expressed their best wishes to all the stakeholders involved in the project,” he added.
The keel of the 40,000-tonne warship was laid in February 2009, and it was floated out at Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL), which has built it, in December 2011. Basin trials were completed in November 2020, and the vessel is expected to be commissioned into the Navy by August 2022.
According to the Navy, IAC-1 will operate the Russian-built MiG-29K fighter aircraft and Kamov-31 air early warning helicopters; the indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH); and the soon-to-be-inducted MH-60R multirole helicopters manufactured by Lockheed Martin.
The warship has been built at a cost of around Rs 23,000 crore and its construction propelled India into a select group of countries having capabilities to build state-of-the-art aircraft carriers.