English Release 24-May 2013
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Ministry of Defence28-February, 2009 15:13 IST
|Antony lays keel of first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier|
|The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony laid the keel of the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) at a simple ceremony at the Cochin Shipyard in Kochi today. Scheduled to be completed by 2014, the feat will catapult India as only the fourth nation in the world into the exclusive club of nations which have the capability of designing and building 40,000 tonne aircraft carriers.|
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Antony said ‘we are living in a world of uncertainty, conflict, threats from maritime terrorism, piracy, narcotics, smuggling and low-intensity conflict, perpetrated by state in some cases and with non-state players in others, are on the rise’. He hoped that the country will operate two to three aircraft carriers simultaneously in not too distant future.
The design and construction of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier was sanctioned by the government in January 2003. This is the most prestigious project, which the Indian Navy has taken up in-house so far. The design and construction of this ship is a technical complexity whose dimensions far outstrip any such challenge faced hitherto by the Indian Naval Designers. Indigenous Aircraft Carrier designed by Navy’s Design Organisation and being built at M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited would be capable of operating an aircraft mix of Russian MiG-29K, Ka 31 and indigenous LCA.
The ship has a length of 260 m and maximum breadth of 60 m. The ship will be propelled by two shafts, each coupled to two LM2500 Gas Turbines developing a total power of 80 MW, sufficient to attain speeds in excess of 28 knots. The ship has an endurance of around 8,000 NM and complement of 1600. The ship will have two take off runways and a landing strip with 3 arrester wires. It can carry a maximum of 30 aircraft with adequate hangarage capacity. The carrier is designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability.
The production of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier commenced in November 2006 and large numbers of blocks have already been fabricated, which are under erection. Major equipment to be installed in lower decks of the ship have been ordered. The ship is being constructed using high strength steel developed in-house with the help of DRDO and SAIL. Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR SAM) system with Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and Close- In Weapon System (CIWS) is envisaged for the carrier. The ship will be equipped with the most modern C/D band early Air Warning Radar, V/UHF Tactical Air Navigational and Direction Finding systems. The carrier would also be having jamming capabilities over the expected Electro Magnetic (EM) environment, along with Carrier Control Approach Radars to aid air operations. Integration of all weapon systems onboard the carrier would be through an indigenous Combat Management System (CMS).The ship’s integration with Navy’s Network Centric Operations would provide force multiplication.
Design of this prestigious ship has been undertaken by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) which has an experience of over 40 years in successfully designing 17 different classes of warships, to which around 90 ships have already been built within the country. It is also pertinent to mention that DND is the only government organisation in the world today undertaking indigenous design of warships. Delhi class destroyers are the biggest warships built so far by indigenous design. These ships are operating successfully over last 10 years and have demonstrated their design superiority when INS Delhi withstood extremely adverse weather conditions and high sea states while encountering typhoons during the ship’s passage in the South China Sea in 1995.
M/s CSL was chosen for building Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, based on its modern infrastructural facilities. Though this is the maiden venture for CSL in warship construction, the shipyard has been involved in commercial shipbuilding for the past three decades.
In order to optimize on build period of IAC, CSL has been provided with over Rs 200 Crores to augment infrastructure in areas such as large cranes, workshops, heavy duty machinery etc.
The ship construction is planned in two phases. The First phase covers work up to first launch in end 2010. The second phase would cover all balance work till delivery of the ship to the Navy in end 2014. Assistance for propulsion system integration and aviation aspects have been taken from M/s Fincantieri of Italy and M/s NDB of Russia respectively.
Sitanshu Kar/ Nirad Sinha
(Release ID :48166)