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India's first indigenous aircraft carrier begins second phase of sea trials


India's first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant commenced its sea trials in August 2021. Photo: Indian Navy

NEW DELHI (PTI): India's first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant set sail on Sunday for the second sea trials, ahead of its planned induction into the Indian Navy by August 2022.

The 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier, the largest and most complex warship to be built in India, successfully completed a five-day maiden sea voyage in August this year.

Following the first sea trials, the Navy had said that the performance of key systems of the warship was found to be satisfactory.

"Indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant sailed out on Sunday from Kochi for the second sea trials," said an official.

The warship has been built at a cost of around Rs 23,000 crore and its construction propelled India into a select group of countries having capabilities to build state-of-the-art aircraft carriers.

The warship will operate MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters, MH-60R multi-role helicopters.

It has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers.

Vikrant has a top speed of around 28 knots and a cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles, officials said.

The IAC is 262 metres long, 62 metres wide and it has a height of 59 metres. Its construction began in 2009.

The warship has been built by Cochin Shipyard Limited(CSL).

India currently has only one aircraft carrier – INS Vikramaditya.

The Indian Navy has been focusing on significantly bolstering its overall capabilities in view of China's growing efforts to increase its military presence in the Indian Ocean Region.

The Indian Ocean, considered the backyard of Indian Navy, is critical to the country's strategic interests.

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