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High-level defence panel reviews work on India's indigenous aircraft

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Indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is being built at Cochin Shipyard Ltd. A file photo

KOCHI (PTI): A committee headed by the Defence Secretary on Monday reviewed the progress of Indian Navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant, currently under third phase of construction at Kochi.

The Empowered Apex Committee (EAC) headed by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar reviewed the progress of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) project at Cochin Shipyard Limited.

"The review critically examined the current status of the project as the IAC is in a very advanced stage of construction and is scheduled to commence basin trials in early 2020 followed by sea trials by mid-2020", a Defence release said.

This is the 13th EAC Review Meeting of the Project and the first to be held after the signing of the Phase-III of the IAC contract on October 31, 2019 between the Ministry of Defence and the public sector Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).

According to officials, the construction of the aircraft carrier is in an advanced state with all four gas turbines, main engines having been started. Power generation systems comprising eight diesel alternators were ready and trials of the ships major systems and auxiliary equipment were in progress.

Basin trials are conducted for proving the propulsion, transmission and shafting systems and is scheduled in early half of this year.

The IAC would be ready to commence the sea trials once the basin trials are successfully completed, the release said.

The Defence Secretary was accompanied by Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar, Vice Admiral GS Pabby, Chief of Materiel, Vice Admiral S R Sarma, Controller Warship Production & Acquisition, and other senior officers from the Integrated Headquarters (IHQ) of Ministry of Defence (Navy), Warship Overseeing Team and Carrier Acceptance & Trials Team.

The basic design of the nearly 40,000-tonne IAC was done by the Indian Navy's Directorate of Naval Design and developed into a detailed one by the design team of CSL.

The ship has a length of over 260 m and breadth of 60 m.

It has two take-off runways and a landing strip with three arrester wires, capable of operating STOBAR aircraft including the indigenous LCA, as well as a range of helicopters with hangar facilities, officials had earlier said.


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