New Delhi: India has started working on its second indigenous aircraft carrier even as the construction of the first one has been marred by delay of over two years.
The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC)-II would be the largest ship in terms of the weight and size to have ever been built by the Navy, Navy sources said. On the delays in the IAC-I, they said against the December 2010 timeline, the Navy was now planning to launch it by the end of this year or early next year.
Sources said delays in the warship project were caused mainly due to problems in its gearbox, they said. The 40,000 tonne IAC-I is being constructed by the Kochin Shipyard in Kerala and is so far the biggest warship project undertaken in the country.
At its now expected induction timeline of 2017, it would be the second largest warship after the Russian-origin Admiral Gorshkov, which is set to arrive in India by March next year.
They said the IAC-I has two very large gear boxes weighing around 90 tonnes each-- the largest-ever to have been handled by the Navy.
Asked about the specifications of the IAC-2, Navy sources said the work was going on and a number of design options were being explored.
Navy sources expressed hope that by the time the IAC-II would be ready, the indigenously-built Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) would also be fully mature for operating on it.
On the Shivalik Class frigate INS Sahyadri to be commissioned in to the Navy on July 21, Navy officials said it was the last ship of its class Project 17. They said the work on the next Project 17A has already started.