INS Vikrant will not be functional till 2020

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Kochi, Aug 13: INS Vikrant, India's first indigenous aircraft career launched yesterday, will not be fully functional till 2020 though it would be handed over to the Navy in 2018.

Sources say that the 40,000 tonne carrier has to be tested for weapons and aviation, which will include supersonic fighters taking off from the angled ski-jump and then landing back on the deck with the help of the arrestors.

However, this is not a dampener since India is slowly progressing toward constructing of the most powerful three-dimensional blue-water navy at a project cost of RS 3 lakh crore in the next 15 years. The launch of INS Vikrant has added India to the creme club of four who have mastered the construction of carriers of this size. These countries include US, Russia, the UK and France.

Accolading the future plans of the Navy, Defence Minister A K Antony at the launch of Vikrant said,"The need for a strong and vigilant navy to defend our mainland, island territories, off-shore assets, EEZ, and maintaining our sea lanes of communication needs no emphasis. The navy, which is committed to support indigenization as a strategic core competency has its plans well chalked out."

INS Vikrant

Kochi: Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (P-71) INS Vikrant, after its launch by, Elizabeth Antony, wife of India's Defence Minister A K Antony at Kochi on Monday.

The ceremony

Kochi: Wife of Union Defence Minister A K Antony, Elizabeth Antony launches the indigenous Aircraft Carrier (P-71) 'INS Vikrant' in presence of defence minister, Union shipping minister G.K. Vasan ( L) and Admiral D K Joshi, chief of the Naval staff (2nd R) at Kochi on Monday.

The beginning

Kochi: Defence Minister A K Antony and wife Elizabeth Antony with Union shipping Minister G.K. Vasan ( 2nd L) and Admiral D K Joshi, chief of the Naval staff (3rd R) after the launch of indigenous Aircraft Carrier (P-71) 'INS Vikrant' at Kochi on Monday.

Under the shelter

Kochi: Defence Minister A K Antony, his wife Elizabeth Antony, Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan (L) and Admiral D K Joshi, Chief of the Naval staff (R) after the launch of indigenous Aircraft Carrier (P-71) 'INS Vikrant' in Kochi on Monday.

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