Biggest warship INS Vikramaditya to arrive in Indian shores

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INS Vikramaditya to arrive in India
New Delhi, Jan 6: India's biggest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, which was obtained from Russia last November , will finally be arriving at Indian Navy's Area of Operation in the Arabian Sea.

It is being escorted by the other ships of India's western fleet and is heading to the Navy's base at Karwar on the western coast. The $2.3 billion ship is escorted by INS Viraat, INS Trikand, a Talwar class frigate, INS Delhi, a Delhi class destroyer, and INS Deepak, the fleet tanker throughout the long journey.

Rear Admiral Anil Chawla was the Fleet Commander of the Western Fleet, which also comprised three Trishul class stealth frigates, a Godavari class frigate and a couple of offshore vessels.

Commissioned into the Indian Navy on November 16 at the Sevmash shipyard in North Russia's Severodvinsk, Vikramaditya is the much awaited warship that would add to the strength of the Indian defence.

Likely to visit the home port at Karwar in Karnataka in a week, the ship would then be integrated with weaponry. The air wing of the ship comprises 30 MiG 29K aircraft and 6 Kamov helicopters. The MiG 29Ks specially will boost the Indian Navy with its extendable range of 700 nautical miles, which can be stretched to 1,900 nautical miles. This will be accompanied with mid-air refuelling and several weapons like guided bombs, rockets and anti-ship missiles, beyond visual range air-to-air missiles.

Salient Features

INS Vikramaditya is a Kiev class aircraft carrier, which was commissioned by the Russian Navy in 1987 and was known by the name of Baku. Later named as Admiral Gorshkov, it last sailed in Russia in 1995. It was then offered to India in 2004 for $974 million. The price, however, increased manifolds as Russia delayed its delivery by over 5 years.

Currently, India is building its first indigenous aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant in Kochi, which is expected to join the navy in 2018-19.

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