India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was undocked at the Cochin Shipyard on Wednesday, in a major milestone for domestic warship manufacturing.
“A milestone crossed in defence shipbuilding as IAC INS Vikrant undocked on completion of structural work at CSL,” defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar tweeted.
The 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier, built at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd., will undergo a series of fitment and trial processes before it is ready for propulsion and induction into the Indian Navy.
Indian Navy chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan said recently the ship would be ready for induction by 2018.
INS Vikrant is the first aircraft carrier to be designed by the Directorate of Naval Design of the Indian Navy.
At present, India has two aircraft carriers – INS Viraat, a British-built ship serving with the Indian Navy, and the oldest carrier in service, and INS Vikramaditya.
INS Viraat was first launched in the sea in 1953, and commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1987. It is expected to be decommissioned in 2016.
The second ship, INS Vikramaditya is a modified Russian Kiev-class aircraft carrier.
The proposal for a second indigenous aircraft carrier has, meanwhile, been given the go ahead with the government approving Rs.30 crore for preparations for the carrier.