New Delhi, Feb 23 (ANI): Taking a step ahead in the modernisation of the Navy, India will become the fourth country in the world to build its own aircraft carrier or air defence ship (ADS) after the United States, Russia and France.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony will lay the keel for country's first indigenous aircraft carrier on February 28 at the Cochin shipyard in Kerala. The ADS will give a major boost to the indigenous defence industry and make the Navy a pure Blue Water Navy.
"Only three countries in the world have designed/built an aircraft carrier of such a size and a ship of such complexity and size is being built in the country for the first time," said a top Defence Ministry official.
The aircraft carrier will be in the waters by October 2010, as per the phase I contract signed by its manufacturer Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) with the Defence Ministry. The phase II of the contract will end with the delivery of the ship to the Navy by the end of 2014.
"The life of the carrier is 50 years and more than 70 percent of design is indigenous. Apart from it, the construction is 100 percent indigenous having 70 percent home made components," the Defence Ministry official said.
The aircraft carrier can have 30 fighter jets on board and its fleet will basically comprise of MiG 29 K and Ka-31.
The design work started in 2001-02 is in full progress now and the fabrication of hull blocks has already started.
The aircraft carrier will have 40,000 tonne displacement capacity and is being built at an estimated cost of Rs.3, 260 crore. Eight thousand tonne of steel laying has already been completed.
As per the original plan, the carrier would have Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and the ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) Dhruv in its fleet of 30 assorted aircraft besides MiG 29 K and Ka-31.
The Directorate of Naval Design, the only in-house design bureau in the world, has prepared the design of the ADS. Equipments to be fitted on the aircraft carrier are to meet special requirements of shock, vibration, noise, stealth, compactness in size and weight, the official said.
The INS Viraat is the only full deck aircraft carrier currently in operation with the Navy. By Praful Kumar Singh(ANI)