Top defence officer reviews the progress of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier ahead of crucial basin trials


Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant: India’s indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is all set to commence crucial basin and sea trials this year before its formal induction in the Indian Navy in 2021-22. The ship is likely to commence basin trials in a month or two and it is expected to undergo sea trials by the middle of the year.

The first indigenous aircraft carrier – INS Vikrant has already completed the pre-contractors sea trials dry dock work package in December 2019.

“Now it will undergo basin trials for proving of the propulsion, transmission and shafting systems, which is scheduled in the early half of 2020,” said senior officials in the ministry of defence.

Given the importance of early induction of this crucial weapon system in the Indian Navy which has been operating just one aircraft carrier – INS Virat, defence secretary Ajay Kumar Monday chaired a high level meeting to review the progress of India’s first indigenous Air Craft Carrier (IAC –P71) at the public sector ship manufacturer Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).


The high level committee, known as Empowered Apex Committee (EAC), thoroughly examined the project as the ship is at the advance stage of construction.

This was the 13th review meeting of the project 71 by the high level committee and the first such meeting to be held after the signing of the third phase of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier contract between the Ministry of Defence and public sector ship builder Cochin Shipyard Limited in October last year.

“The Aircraft Carrier would be ready to commence the Sea Trials once the Basin trials are successfully completed,” said the Defence Ministry.  

The 40,000 tonne ship which has been designed and developed in the country will have an air complement of up to 26 Mig 29 K fighter jets, giving the country the ability to project offensive air power beyond its shores.

According to senior officials in the ministry of defence, all four gas turbines, main engines have already been fired up.


“The power generation system comprising of eight diesel alternators are ready and trial of the ship’s major systems and auxiliary equipment is in progress,” said the defence ministry in a statement.

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, who was earlier Secretary for Defence Production and had played a crucial role in promoting the Modi government’s flagship policy Make in India in Defence sector, was accompanied by Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar and Vice Chief of Naval Staff.

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Other senior officials such as Vice Admiral GS Pabby, Chief of Materiel; Vice Admiral SR Sarma, Controller Warship Production & Acquisition from IHQ MoD (Navy); and other senior officers from Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy); and senior officials from the Warship Overseeing Team and Carrier Acceptance & Trials Team also attended the crucial meet.

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