Kochi: India will launch its first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant on Monday. It is the biggest warship to be built by India and will also mark India's entry into a select club of countries capable of designing and building a carrier of this size.
The launch will take place in Cochin making an entry into a select club of countries capable of designing and building a carrier of this size and capability. India is now only the fifth county worldwide to build a ship of this size besides the US, the UK, Russia and France.
Defence Minister AK Antony's wife Elizabeth will launch the 37,500 tonne carrier at Kochi shipyard close to four-and-a-half years after its keel was laid by the minister.
The launch will mark the end of the first phase of its construction and it will then be re-docked for outfitting and construction of superstructure. It is set to go for extensive trials in 2016 before being inducted into the Navy by 2018 end, as per its schedule.
Mig29K, Light Combat Aircraft and Kamov 31 could fly from the carrier. The launch would be the "crowning glory" of Indian Navy's indigenisation programme, said Vice-Admiral RK Dhowan, the Vice-Chief of Naval Staff.
Apart from domestic design and manufacturing work, it is the high grade warship steel made by the Steel Authority of India Limited which has been used for building the ship.
The indigenous component in the warship would be approximately anywhere between 80 and 90 per cent in floating department, up to 60 per cent in movement and not more than 30 per cent in fighting component of the carrier.
The ship, which will be a length of 260 meter and breadth of 60 meter, has been designed by Directorate of Naval Design and is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited.
Its production work had commenced in November 2006.
(With additional inputs from PTI)