INS Vikrant: India's 1st Indigenous Aircraft Carrier

2 Sep 2022  Read 1126 Views

India`s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), INS Vikrant, commissioned by PM Narendra Modi is the largest ship ever built in India's maritime history. This Aircraft Carrier was constructed with the aid of Cochin Shipyard Ltd., an India-owned and operated  Aircraft Carrier sold from the UK. At present, India already has an operational Aircraft Carrier purchased from Russia. With the commissioning of INS Vikrant, the Indian Navy can have operational Aircraft Carriers. Given the unexpected transforming geopolitical scenario, the Indo-Pacific's growing significance, and the growing presence of China in the Indian Ocean, the Indian Navy has also asked for a 3rd Aircraft Carrier.

What is an Aircraft Carrier?

Before we get into the topic of INS Vikrant, we have to recognize the kind of navy ships. INS Vikrant belongs to the Aircraft service variant. The carrier is essentially an airfield at sea, although it has numerous unique features because of its size and operating environment restrictions. Airspeeds above the deck are boosted by turning the ship into the wind to enable quick takeoffs and landings.Aircraft are launched with the help of catapults flush with the flight deck; when landing, aircraft are equipped with retractable hooks that hook onto transverse wires on the deck and instantly arrive at a halt. A naval vessel from which planes can take off and land is known as an aircraft carrier. As of June 2022, there are 47 active aircraft carriers globally.

Read Also: Do you know the ranks and insignia of the Indian Navy? Click here to know

List of Aircraft Carriers in India

On September 2, 2022, in Kochi, Prime Minister Modi dedicated the nation's first aircraft carrier that was built from scratch, named Vikrant. As a result, India's naval fleet currently has two aircraft carriers. The Soviet Union produced India's elder aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, in 1987. Admiral Gorshkov was its name when it served with the Soviet navy, and it then served with the Russian navy before being decommissioned in 1996. India bought it in 2004 and began using it.

The Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant

 INS Vikrant, a made in India and made for India product, designed through the Indian Navy`s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and constructed at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a public region shipyard below the Ministry of Shipping which is situated in Kerala. The new warship corresponds to India`s present aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya which is a 44,500-tonne vessel and may convey as many as 34 planes. It will perform the Russian-made MiG-29K fighter plane and Kamov-31 Air Early Warning Helicopters, which are already in use at the INS Vikramaditya. 

According to the Navy, over 76% of the material and device on board IAC-1 is indigenous. This consists of 23,000 tonnes of steel, 2,500 km of electrical cables, one hundred fifty km of pipes, 2,000 valves, and a huge variety of completed products. More than 50 Indian producers were immediately concerned about the challenge, and approximately 2,000 Indians obtained direct employment on board IAC-1 each day. Over 40,000 others had been hired indirectly. 

Why do we need a 3rd aircraft carrier?

1.    Sea control - Carriers are a crucial component of maritime management. The core idea upon which the Indian Navy is organized is sea control, according to the country's maritime policy. Without a standoff capacity, it is impossible to maintain control of maritime space and ensure its security for any amount of time. The Carrier Group provides this capability (Ship along with all its assets).
2.    Functional diversity -  The Carrier Group, can provide functional diversity in the form of deterrence, assistance with amphibious operations, land-attack missions, broad-area domain awareness, command and control of substantial troops, and personnel evacuation.
3.    Nation will be able to face long-term issues - The Carrier Group can maintain the circumstances necessary for long-term offensive presence and power projection. It might restrict unfettered access to the enemy's bases during the phase of preparation and buildup.
4.    Fourth, no other marine force can compare to the operational flexibility, firepower, and agility that the Carrier Group offers to the Commander.
5.    Fifth: Because it operates in and from international seas, maritime power—particularly the Carrier Group—represents the most formidable yet least invasive kind of military force, in contrast to land forces and ground-based air forces.

What is INS Vikrant`s ship layout?

INS Vikrant measured a length of 700 ft, with a beam of 128 toes wide, substantially quicker than her sister ship, the INS Viraat (commissioned on May 12, 1987), at 748 toes in duration and 160 toes in width. The INS Vikrant turned into a bridge between full-sized fleet carriers and smaller ones. It means INS Vikrant can be considered a “mild fleet carrier ”. Formally, INS Vikrant falls below the Majestic-elegance of aircraft carriers. The indicated horsepower of the ship is 40,000 (30,000 kW). It consists a velocity of 25 knots which is 46 km/hr. INS Vikrant can house approximately 1100 officers, men, and aircrew. INS Vikrant – Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1)  INS Vikrant produces 88 MW of electricity and capabilities 23 compartments designed for a group of around 1700 people. Commissioning of the country's first Aircraft Carrier Vikrant will beautify peace, safety, and balance within the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific Region, Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral S.N. Ghormade stated on Thursday. The carrier was commissioned on September 2, 2022, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  

Indian Navy`s new flag revealed

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unveiled the new Naval Ensign that attracted proposals from the seal of the great Indian Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He also commissioned INS Vikrant, India's biggest ship ever constructed in the country's maritime history, at the Cochin Shipyard. Naval Ensigns are flags that naval ships or formations endure indicating nationality. The present-day Indian Naval Ensign includes a St. George`s Cross, a pink go with white background. 

The new ensign includes a white flag with the Indian Navy's crest on a military blue background. The crest is enclosed in an octagon representing the royal seal of historic ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. At the pinnacle left corner, the Indian National flag is located.  The new ensign marks a departure from India's colonial past. The Navy's earlier ensign consisted of a white flag with horizontal and vertical pink stripes, with the Emblem of India emblazoned on the intersection of the two stripes. The tricolor was located within the canton. 

After Independence, on August 15, 1947, the Indian defense forces persevered with the British colonial flags and badges. It became effective on Jan 26, 1950, when a changeover to Indian samples was made. The Navy crest and flag have been modified. However, the most effective distinction made to the flag was that the Union Jack became changed with the Tricolour, and the George`s Cross was retained. 

When was the first time naval ensign ever modified?

  • The naval ensign was changed in 2001, while the George`s Cross changed with the naval crest within the center of the white flag as the Tricolour retained its vicinity at the pinnacle left corner.

  •  There has been an extended pending call for a change in the naval ensign. The authentic idea for change came from Vice Admiral VEC Barboza, who retired from the Navy because the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command. 

  •  However, in 2004, the ensign became once more modified lower back to the Red George`s Cross as there had been court cases that the brand new flag became indistinguishable due to the fact the blue of the Navy crest merged with the skies and the sea. A change was made within the flag, and the crimson George`s Cross now had the state logo derived from the Lion Capital of Ashoka withinside the center. 

  • In 2014, another change was made when the words `Satyamev Jayate` were blanketed on the flag under the Ashoka logo in the Devanagari script.

  • The horizontal and vertical pink stripes stand for 'Cross of Saint George' and, thus, have been a signal of "British rule."

  • In  2022 on 02-09-2022, PM Modi unveiled the brand new naval ensign, an update to the contemporary flag with Saint George's Cross with the tricolor in the pinnacle left corner. The modern ensign is a descendant of the Indian Navy's pre-Independence generation ensign, which had the Union Jack of the United Kingdom inside the canton and a red George's Cross on a white background. 

Conclusion

India has evolved the functionality to construct indigenous aircraft carriers. The Government has to delicately stabilize the social duties vis-a-vis ensuring country defense, particularly towards an increasingly more competitive adversary. The transport of Vikrant nowadays is the fruit of a protracted layout.

With the transport of IAC, India could be part of a selected organization of countries with the functionality to indigenously layout and construct an Aircraft Carrier to be an actual testimony to the `Make In India' thrust of the Indian Government .India is now well-positioned to limit China's String of Pearls with the addition of INS Vikrant and the start of preparations for India's third aircraft carrier.

About the Author: Shivam Pathak | 23 Post(s)

Shivam is pursuing a BA. LL. B (HONS.) 5-year integrated course from Amity University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh. With a core interest in Criminal and Civil Law, his hobbies are reading books and listening to songs in his free time.

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