INS Vikrant, India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, will be delivered to the Indian Navy by 2021. Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of Naval Staff on Saturday said, “Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant is undergoing outfitting at Kochi shipyard Ltd. Its harbour acceptance trials are in progress & sea acceptance trial will commence in the latter half of this year.” He further added that the aircraft carrier will be delivered to Navy in 2021.
However, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report in July last had raised doubts on the commissioning of the INS Vikrant in 2021. This aircraft carrier is also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1). Work on the ship’s design began in 1999, and the keel was laid in February 2009. The carrier was floated out of its dry dock on December 29, 2011, and was launched on August 12, 2013.
Once inducted, the indigenous-built aircraft carrier will increase the strength of the Navy by many manifolds and will bring India at par with China which will induct its second aircraft carrier in 2020. India’s first aircraft carrier was also called INS Vikrant which was decommissioned in 1997 after serving for over three decades. Currently, the Indian Navy has only one aircraft carrier – INS Vikramaditya.