Saturday, July 2, 2011
Indian Navy all set to welcome INS Vikramaditya
The Indian Navy is all set to welcome the INS Vikramaditya. The navy set the ball rolling to integrate the aircraft carrier (earlier known as the Admiral Gorshkov) with its fleet as the warship, being redone at a Russian shipyard, readies to sail home in early 2013.
The integration plan was discussed at a recent meeting of naval commanders in New Delhi as some key "firsts" are associated with the ship. More than double the size of existing aircraft carrier INS Viraat, it will be the biggest warship ever to be operated by the Indian Navy. The second crucial aspect is that for the first time, the navy would be operating supersonic combat jets from the flight deck. Once it arrives, the naval fleet will have to be arranged around it, as the Vikramaditya would become the central platform.
The fleet rearrangement is also necessitated by the fact that the navy is in the middle of a modernisation drive as many warships are under construction. It is estimated that by the time the Vikramaditya joins the fleet, the navy would have added the remaining two of the state-of-the-art multirole Shivalik-class stealth frigates, the first of which has already been delivered. It would also have at least two new antisubmarine warfare corvettes. The navy will also get three new potent Talwar-class frigates, being built in Russia. In fact, close to 40 new warships are under construction at various shipyards in the country. This means that the fleet will not only grow in numbers but will also have modern warships.