After being decommissioned in 1997, INS Vikrant has been re-inducted into the Indian Navy in a new form. This is the first aircraft carrier warship built almost entirely inside India.
INS Vikrant was commissioned into the Navy at Kochi, Kerala. Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed it over to the Navy. It is the first aircraft carrier warship designed and built in India itself.
With its induction into the Navy, India has become one of the few countries that can design and build their own aircraft carrier warships. Till now only America, Russia, France, Britain and China had this capability.
It is also being called the reincarnation of INS Vikrant as the ship of this name has served the Indian Navy decades ago. Her original name was HMS Hercules and she was built in Britain. India bought it from Britain in 1957 and then renamed it INS Vikrant and was inducted into the Indian Navy in 1961.
In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, that ship was of great use to the Indian Navy. He headed the Naval Blockade of the then East Pakistan. He was retired in 1997 after serving in the Navy for 36 years.
A ‘moving city’
For the first time in the 90s, the Indian government flagged off the program to build its aircraft carrier warship inside the country and it was then decided that the first ship to be built under this program would be a tribute to INS Vikrant.
But there is a big difference between today’s Vikrant and old Vikrant. The old Vikrant was about 210 meters long while the new Vikrant is more than 260 meters tall. When fully loaded, the new Vikrant weighs around 45,000 tonnes, while the old Vikrant weighed only half that.
It took 17 years to build and cost about Rs 20,000 crore. It can accommodate about 1700 people and at least 30 ships including various types of fighter aircraft and helicopters at a time. It is so vast that it is also being called a ‘moving city’.
Its deck is of 18 floors, that is, from a distance it looks like an 18-storey building. A 16-bed hospital has also been built inside it. It is being told in media reports that after being fully refueled, it can stay in the sea for 45 days.
This is the second aircraft carrier warship of the Indian Navy. Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya is already serving the Navy. Now the Navy can simultaneously deploy one warship on the eastern and western coasts of India.