The indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, am ambitious project, has been launched with much fanfare but it is unlikely to be war-ready before 2020. The INS Vikrant is guided by tugboats as it leaves the dock of Cochin Shipyard.
This launch puts India in the club of nations capable of building a modern aircraft carrier. However, it will take another seven years it can be actively deployed by the Navy. The launch is, however, indicative of progress and the carrier remains the Indian Navy's great hope. Monday's event means that the ship has been taken out of the dry dock after completion after which It will be moved to a deeper dock for integration of various systems and the installation of 2,700 km of cabling.
At 37,500 tonne, Vikrant, will occupy four hectares floating in the sea, making it the biggest ship in the country. But as compared to other aircraft carriers, it belongs to the category containing the fourth biggest vessels. The US Navy operates nuclear-powered super carriers with displacements of over 1,00,000 tonnes. The French, British and Russians are building carriers in the 60,000-tonne category. India's own INS Vikramaditya, which is being retrofitted in Russia, is a 44,000-tonne ship.
Images Courtesy: India Today