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INS Vikrant

INS Vikrant

India’s very first homegrown aircraft carrier is a proud achievement for the nation. Crafted by the skilled hands of the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau and brought to life by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited, this vessel represents a significant leap forward for India’s naval capabilities. It symbolizes our journey towards becoming a ‘Blue Water Navy‘, embodying our aspiration for global maritime influence and the ability to navigate the deepest waters. With this milestone, India now stands alongside esteemed nations like the US, Russia, France, the UK, and China in the prestigious league of aircraft carrier designers and builders.

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  • Dimension: It has an approximate length of 262 meters (860 feet) and a breadth of 62 meters (203 feet).
  • Displacement: Its full-load displacement is 43,000 tonnes.
  • Speed: It has a top speed of 52 km/h (32 mph).
  • Endurance8,600 miles (13,890 kilometers)
  • Aircraft capacity: It can accommodate up to 30 fixed-wing aircraft, including fighter jets, and rotary-wing aircraft, such as anti-submarine warfare helicopters and utility helicopters.

Historical facts about INS Vikrant

  • In 1943, the construction of INS Vikrant, initially named HMS Hercules for the Royal Navy, began, marking India’s journey into aircraft carrier operations.
  • Following the conclusion of World War II, construction on HMS Hercules was halted temporarily.
  • Subsequently, the vessel was put up for sale by the United Kingdom, much like many other ships of that era.
  • India seized the opportunity and acquired the under-construction HMS Hercules in 1957.

Operational History of INS Vikrant

  • The operational saga of INS Vikrant, India’s iconic aircraft carrier, spans from its commissioning in 1961 to its solemn demise in 2014. In 1965, during the India-Pakistan conflict, Vikrant was undergoing refurbishment in Mumbai, unable to join the fray. However, its warplanes valiantly operated from land bases, contributing to a ceasefire with no clear victor.
  • Vikrant’s true baptism of fire came in the 1971 Indo-Pak war when it launched airstrikes and led combat air operations, aiding India’s decisive victory and the birth of Bangladesh. Its aircraft squadron was pivotal in quelling enemy ground movements and blockading vital supplies to East Pakistan.
  • In the years following, the carrier underwent refits in 1991-1994, offering stability but signaling its aging. It found a brief respite as a museum from 2001 to 2012, but financial struggles led to its auction in 2013 and, tragically, its scraping in November 2014.
  • INS Vikrant’s operational history is a testament to India’s naval prowess, marking both triumphs and the inevitable passage of time for even the mightiest vessels.

Importance of INS Vikrant for India

  • INS Vikrant is important for the Indian Navy because it is named after the prestigious INS Vikrant R11, which was a symbol of national pride.
  • The induction of INS Vikrant is a significant step towards the Indian Navy’s goal of becoming a Blue Water Navy.
  • It represents the indigenization of defense manufacturing. It contributes to India’s self-reliance in defense manufacturing and its role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region.
  • With the commissioning of INS Vikrant, India now has two active aircraft carriers. This has strengthened its dominance in the Indian Ocean and enhanced maritime security.
  • INS Vikrant plays a crucial role in ensuring the security of India’s island territories. These are vulnerable to enemy attacks during war.
  • This includes evacuating people during natural disasters or from overseas territories during crises.

Read Also: List of Indian Navy – Aircraft, Submarines and Aircraft Carriers

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