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Defence Minister to visit CSL to review progress of indigenous aircraft carrier

India's Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 'Vikrant'. A file photo

KOCHI (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on June 25 to review the progress of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) being built there for the Indian Navy, official sources said on Tuesday.

Singh, who will arrive at Kochi on Thursday, will visit the IAC on Friday, they said.

The Defence Minister's two-day Kochi visit comes in the wake of delay in the IAC's sea trials. The trials were planned in the first half of this year, but got delayed due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sources told PTI.

The basin trials of the aircraft carrier were successfully conducted at CSL in December last year, marking entry into the final phase of the ambitious warship-building project.

Basin trial is testing of the ship's machinery and equipment in floating conditions before the sea trials.

A Defence spokesperson had earlier said the IAC project was a true example of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ with close to 75 per cent of the material and equipment onboard being indigenous.

Over 50 Indian manufacturers have been directly involved in this project, which has provided significant employment opportunities for Indian citizens.

Close to 2,000 Indians received direct employment onboard IAC on a daily basis and over 40,000 received indirect employment.

In addition, about 80-85 per cent of the project cost of approximately Rs 20,000 crore has been ploughed back into the Indian economy, according to the spokesperson.

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