Prime Minister Narendra Modi will commission the first indigenous aircraft carrier-- INS Vikrant-- the largest ship ever built in maritime history of India and houses state-of-the-art automation features at Cochin Shipyard Ltd here on Friday.

During the event, the Prime Minister will also unveil the new Naval Ensign (Nishaan), doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage.

The commissioning of Vikrant will mark a significant step towards India's self-reliance in the defence sector, a Defence spokesman has said.

"It is a shining beacon of Atma Nirbharat in the defence sector," he said.

Indigenous design

"With the commissioning of 'Vikrant', India would join a select group of nations having the niche capability to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier, which will be a real testimony to the Make in India thrust of Government of India," a Defence statement has said.

The warship has been built using indigenous equipment and machinery supplied by India's major industrial houses as well as over 100 MSMEs.

It has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, involving major industrial houses in the country as well as over 100 MSMEs.

With the commissioning of Vikrant, India will have two operational aircraft carriers, which will bolster the maritime security of the nation.

Designed by the Warship Design Bureau (WDB), Indian Navy's in-house organisation and built by Cochin Shipyard Ltd, a Public Sector Shipyard under Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, the indigenous aircraft carrier is christened after her illustrious predecessor, India's first aircraft carrier which played a vital role in the 1971 war.

Vikrant meaning victorious and gallant, the foundation for IAC was established in April 2005 by ceremonial Steel Cutting.

In order to push the indigenisation drive, the warship grade steel required for construction of IAC was successfully indigenised through Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) in collaboration with Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Indian Navy. The hull fabrication progressed thereafter and the ship's keel was laid in February 2009.

Onboard facilities

The first phase of ship construction was completed with the successful launch of the ship in August 2013.

The 262 m long and 62 m wide Vikrant displaces approximately 43000 T when fully loaded, having a maximum designed speed of 28 knots with endurance of 7500 NM.

The ship has around 2,200 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,600 that include specialised cabins to accommodate women officers and sailors.

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The ship boasts of a full-fledged state-of-the-art medical complex with latest medical equipment facilities that includes major modular OT, emergency modular OT, physiotherapy clinic, ICU, laboratories, CT scanner, X-Ray machines, dental complex, isolation ward and telemedicine facilities, etc.

The ship would be capable of operating air wing consisting of 30 aircraft, comprising MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy).

Using a novel aircraft operation mode known as Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR), the IAC is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft, and a set of three 'arrester wires' for their recovery onboard.

Commissioning of 'Vikrant' would be a proud and landmark moment for the nation showcasing our 'Atma Nirbhar' credentials during 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', a true testament to the country's zeal and fervour in pursuing capability build up towards enhanced maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region and shall demonstrate Indian Navy's unwavering commitment to contribute towards peace and stability in the region, the Defence statement said.

The induction and reincarnation of 'Vikrant' is thus not only another step towards strengthening our defence preparedness but also our humble tribute to the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters for the independence of the nation and our brave soldiers during the 1971 war, it added.

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