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Cochin Shipyard aircraft carrier launch by 2012: Pallam Raju

A File Photo of Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju

KOLKATA (PTI): The aircraft carrier built at the Cochin Shipyard would be launched by 2012, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said.

Following the launch, the aircraft carrier would be operationalised after a certain time lag, Raju told reporters here, Thursday.

As per the Indian Navy's perspective maritime plan, the country which has a vast coastline was in dire need of aircraft carriers to protect its economic assets during peace time. It needed at least three aircraft carriers at any given point, out of which only one - INS Viraat was in operation, he said.

The Russia-built Admiral Gorshkov is likely to be inducted by 2012, for which the Indian government is still negotiating.

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