Monday, December 02, 2019

Engines fired up, basin trials next for Indigenous Aircraft Carrier

New Delhi: The engines on board the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) being constructed at Kochi have been fired up and the Navy is starting on the next step of basin trials, with expectations that the warship would be ready for operations by 2022.
The long-delayed project, which was to be completed by 2018, is now back on track, with senior officers saying that the 37,500-tonne aircraft carrier will initially operate MiG 29K fighters and could also feature indigenous combat aircraft.
The carrier, the largest ever warship to be constructed in an Indian yard, is now in its final phase of construction and the Navy could consider operating a limited number of the maritime version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) once it gets fit for service, said people aware of the matter.
However, an indigenous fighter jet that would meet technical requirements of the Navy is unlikely to be ready for operational duty before 2026, which could put a strain on the fleet of MiG 29K fighter jets that are currently used for the INS Vikramaditya, India’s only aircraft carrier.
A key requirement of the Navy is a double engine jet to ensure safety of the crew at sea.
“We have started the engine and hope to get the ship by 2021. It will take a year after that to get it operational.
We plan to start with the MiG 29K fighter jets,” a senior official told ET on condition of anonymity.
02/12/19 Manu Pubby/Economic Times

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