India to get first indigenous aircraft carrier by 2014

13:15, January 11, 2010      

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India's domestic aircraft carrier currently under construction at Cochin Shipyard Limited off the southwest cost of India will be launched before the end of 2010, and will be commissioned by 2014, according to an Indian media agency report on January 10.

India started building its first indigenous aircraft carrier in 2006 and 70 percent of production has been completed, said Commodore M. Jitendran, Chairman & Managing Director of Cochin Shipyard Limited.

The vessel is some 260 meters long and 60 meters wide, with a full displacement of 40,000 tones and a maximum cruise speed of 28 knots.

With this, India joins the elite club capable of designing and building aircraft carriers of 40,000 tones with the U.S., Russia and France. This will greatly help to expand the Indian navy's activities scope.

Commodore M. Jitendran said the vessel will become a mobile air base and can accommodate 30 fighter aircraft like MIG-29 K and Indian-made light combat aircraft.

A second order might also be given to Cochin Shipyard Limited when the first one is handed over to the Indian navy.

India currently only has one operational carrier - the INS Viraat - after scrapping its first, INS Vikrant, in 1997 after more than 35 years service. Viraat is scheduled to be phased out in 2015.

By People's Daily Online
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