The 16,000 tons INS Vikrant was the sole aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy and was deployed effectively during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Aircraft from the ship were instrumental in bombarding the ports of Bangladesh and contributed immensely to the liberation of Bangladesh.
In the Navy old ships never die, they just fade away till they are resurrected again. INS Vikrant is in the process of a rebirth at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL). This successor of the old Vikrant has been designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design. This ship will displace 40,000 tons when commissioned. The ship was launched on 12 Aug 2013 and is presently undergoing trials and setting to work of various equipment. This will be followed by Harbour and Sea Acceptance Trials before the ship is commissioned into the Indian Navy.
The INS Vikrant is 262 m long, has a beam of 62 m and draught of 8.4 m. The INS Vikrant would be powered by four General Electric LM 2500+ Gas Turbines. These four engines will transmit the power to the two shafts and propellers through two Elecon COGAG gearboxes. This propulsion package can push the 40,000 tons behemoth to a top speed of 28 knots (52 Km/h).
INS Vikrant has a range of 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 Kms) and can sustain 196 officers and 1,449 ratings. It can carry between 30 to 40 aircraft including 26 fixed wing aircraft and balance helicopters. The main platform carried by the ship would be the Mig 29K fighter aircraft. The aircraft will be launched and recover using the Short Take Off But Arrested Landing (STOBAR) system and for this a ski jump has been provided on the flight deck.
For protection, the INS Vikrant is fitted with Selex RAN 40L long range early warning and surveillance radar. It also has Elta EL/M-2248 MF-STAR AESA multi function radar. Anti- air defence is provided by four Otobreda 76 mm cannons, Barak 1 and 8 surface to air missiles and AK 630 Close In Weapon System (CIWS). It uses an indigenous Combat Management System developed by Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Weapon and Electronics System Engineering Establishment of the Indian Navy.