Vice Admiral Saxena confirmed that construction of the carrier is underway, at a brisk pace, and delivery to the navy for induction with Eastern Naval Command is expected in 2021.
“Construction is moving at a brisk pace. The gas turbines could be fired in the third quarter of this year. Basin trials will follow, as well as testing of the aviation complex,” said Vice Admiral Saxena while speaking at the curtain raiser for the seminar ‘Nation Building through Shipbuilding’ in New Delhi.
Trials of fighter jet take-offs off from the deck of the warship will be conducted after that, the Vice Admiral added.
The 37500-ton carrier will measure 260 metres in length, with a maximum width of 50 metres. It was designed to carry 12 MiG-29Ks, eight Tejas Light Combat Aircraft and 10 anti-submarine and reconnaissance helicopters on its 2.5-acre flight deck and hangars.
The flight deck of Vikrant can carry 19 aircraft while the hangers inside will have the capacity for 17 more fighters.
IAC will have two takeoff runways and a landing strip with three arrester wires. It will support STOBAR (Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery) operations with a ski jump for take-off like the INS Vikramaditya, instead of a steam catapult.
The carrier is designed with a very high degree of automation of machinery operation, ship navigation and survival. It will carry a crew of 160 officers and 1,400 sailors.
The ship is fitted with a combat management system developed indigenously by Tata Power in collaboration with Weapon and Electronics System Engineering Establishment and MARS, Russia.
Construction of the carrier was set back due to delays in negotiations with Russia’s Rosoboronexport and other foreign vendors over the construction of the carrier’s aviation complex. For the aviation facilities complex, 14 elements are of non-Russian origin, while 17 are Russian-made. This equipment was ordered in 2012 and 2015.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy official has insisted that six submarines under the P-75 I project will have more than 50% of indigenous content. The navy floated a tender worth $6.5 billion to build six diesel-electric submarines under strategic partnership policy which envisages leading manufacturers across the globe working with Indian partners to supply the submersibles.