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Keel Laying of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Print E-mail
Written by Anand   
Friday, 27 February 2009
New Delhi : Keel laying of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), one of the major milestones IN Indian shipbuilding, is scheduled on 28 Feb 09 by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, shri A K Anthony.

The design and construction of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier was sanctioned by the Govt. of India in Jan 2003. This is the most prestigious project, which the Indian Navy has taken up in-house so far. The design and construction of this ship is a technical complexity whose dimensions far outstrip any such challenge faced hitherto by the Indian Naval Designers. With this project, India has become the 4th nation to join the select club of 40,000 T plus aircraft carrier designers and builders. Indigenous Aircraft Carrier designed by Navy’s Design Organisation and being built at M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited would be capable of operating an aircraft mix of Russian MiG-29K, Ka31 and indigenous LCA.

The ship has a length of 260 m and max breadth of 60 m. The ship will be propelled by two shafts, each coupled to two LM2500 Gas Turbines developing a total power of 80 MW, sufficient to attain speeds in excess of 28 knots. The ship has an endurance of around 8,000 NM and complement of 1600. The ship will have two takeoff runways and a landing strip with 3 arrester wires. It can carry a maximum of 30 aircraft with adequate hangarage capacity. The carrier is designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability.

The production of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier commenced in Nov 06 and large numbers of blocks have already been fabricated, which are under erection. Major equipment to be installed in lower decks of the ship have been ordered. The ship is being constructed using high strength steel developed in-house with the help of DRDO and SAIL. Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR SAM) system with Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and Close In Weapon System (CIWS) is envisaged for the carrier. The ship will be equipped with the most modern C/D band early Air Warning Radar, V/UHF Tactical Air Navigational and Direction Finding systems. The carrier would also be having jamming capabilities over the expected Electro Magnetic (EM) environment, along with Carrier Control Approach Radars to aid air operations. Integration of all weapon systems onboard the carrier would be through an indigenous Combat Management System (CMS).The ship’s integration with Navy’s Network Centric Operations would provide forced multiplication.

Design of this prestigious ship has been undertaken by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) which has an experience of over 40 years in successfully designing 17 different classes of warships, to which around 90 ships have already been built within the country. It is also pertinent to mention that DND is the only Govt. organisation in the world today undertaking indigenous design of warships. Delhi class destroyers are the biggest warships built so far to indigenous design. These ships are operating successfully over last 10 years and have demonstrated their design superiority when INS Delhi withstood extremely adverse weather conditions and high sea states while encountering typhoons during the ship’s passage in the South China Sea in 1995.

M/s CSL was chosen for building Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, based on its modern infrastructural facilities. Though this is the maiden venture for CSL in warship construction, the shipyard has been involved in commercial shipbuilding for the past three decades.

In order to optimize on build period of IAC, CSL has been provided with exceeding Rs 200 Crores to augment infrastructure in areas such as large cranes, workshops, heavy duty machinery etc.

The ship construction is planned in 02 phases. 1st phase covers work upto first launch in end 2010. 2nd phase would cover all balance work till delivery of the ship to the Navy in end 2014. Assistance for propulsion system integration and aviation aspects have been taken from M/s Fincantieri of Italy and M/s NDB of Russia respectively.
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