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India's Indigenous Aircraft Carrier To Begin Sea Trials In Mid-2020


The Empowered Aex Committee (EAC) reviewed the progress in the construction of the boat at the Cochin Shipyard on Monday. The IAC-1 is in a very advanced stage of construction with primary engines, all four gas turbines, and power generation systems comprising eight diesel alternators, ready. Trials of the vessel’s major systems and auxiliary equipment are already in progress.


Indias Indigenous Aircraft Carrier To Begin Sea Trials In Mid 2020 925 001 INS Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard (Picture source: Indian Navy)


The progress of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-P71) project was reviewed by the Empowered Apex Committee (EAC) headed by Shri Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, on 20 Jan 20 at Cochin Shipyard Limited. The review critically examined the current status of the project as the IAC is in a very advanced stage of construction and is scheduled to commence Basin Trials in early 2020 followed by the Sea Trials by mid-2020. This is the 13th EAC Review Meeting of the Project and the first to be held after the signing of the Phase-III of the IAC Contract on 31 Oct 2019 between Government of India, Ministry of Defence & Cochin Shipyard Limited.

The Defence Secretary was accompanied by Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral GS Pabby, Chief of Materiel, Vice Admiral SR Sarma, Controller Warship Production & Acquisition from IHQ MoD(Navy) and other senior officers from IHQ MoD(Navy), Warship Overseeing Team and Carrier Acceptance & Trials Team.

IAC construction is in an advanced state with all four Gas Turbines, main engines having been started, Power Generation Systems comprising of eight Diesel Alternators ready and trials of ship’s major systems and auxiliary equipment in progress. IAC had successfully completed the Pre-Contractors Sea Trials dry dock work package in Dec 2019. Basin trials are conducted for proving of the propulsion, transmission and shafting systems and is scheduled in the early half of 2020. The Aircraft Carrier would be ready to commence the Sea Trials once the Basin trials are successfully completed.

India has also been planning to build 65,000-tonne IAC-2, INS Vishal, that will rely on the conventional mode of propulsion. At Malaysia's LIMA-19 exhibition, BAE Systems offered to build a customized HMS Queen Elizabeth-type aircraft carrier for India, with an adaptable design for ski-jump and catapult launch.

The Indian Navy's first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1) INS Vikrant will embark on its first sea trial in mid-2020.