INS Vikrant: First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier

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    In News 

    • Recently, the Prime Minister of India commissioned India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant in Kochi.
      • Currently, India has two aircraft carriers (INS Vikramaditya (from Russia) & INS Vikrant (present one).

    About

    • The Prime Minister also unveiled the new Naval Ensign ‘Nishaan’ during the commissioning of the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant
      • Naval Ensigns are flagging that naval ships or formations bear to denote nationality
    • The current Indian Naval Ensign consists of a St. George’s Cross — a red cross with a white background. 
      • St. George was a Christian Warrior Saint who is believed to have been a crusader during the third crusade.
      • In 2001 the George’s Cross was replaced with the naval crest in the middle of the white flag while the Tricolour retained its place on the top left corner.
    • The Indian Naval Ensign has changed multiple times since Independence.

    Facts Sheet about INS Vikrant

     

     

    • Origin
      • The name ‘INS Vikrant’ originally belonged to India’s first aircraft carrier  which was acquired from the UK, and played a vital role in the 1971 War with Pakistan before it was decommissioned in 1997.
    • Design & Development: 
      • By the Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways.
      • It has been built with state-of-the-art automation features and is the largest ship ever built-in maritime history of India.
    • Operational capability:  
      • The ship is capable of operating an air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy). 
      • The ship can accommodate an assortment of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.
      • The warship will also offer an “incomparable military instrument with its ability to project Air Power over long distances, including offensive, Air Interdiction, Anti-Surface Warfare, defensive Counter-Air, Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare and Airborne Early Warning.

    Need & Significance

    • With the commissioning, India has joined the elite group of nations (US, Russia, France, the UK and China) having capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier.
    • It is a shining example in the nation’s quest for ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India Initiative,’ with more than 76 per cent indigenous content.”
    • It is especially important amid India’s bid to be a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region & upholder of Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) where it faces China.
    • The two aircraft carriers can be deployed, one in East Coast (BOB & Malacca Strait) & 2nd one for west Coast (Arabian Sea, Pak Coast & West Asia).
    • Naval forces can use this for dispensing humanitarian relief & disaster relief (in peacetime)

    Way Ahead & Conclusion

    • Considering current geopolitical & strategic importance along the maritime domain, India needs at least 3 carriers.
    • India’s stake in the IOR is greater than in the high Himalayas; India being the only member country of QUAD.
    • The Navy shall be organised, trained & equipped for the peacetime promotion of national security interests & prosperity of India & for prompt combat incidents to operations at Sea.

    Source: TH