Indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant launched
By Express News Service | Published: 13th August 2013 10:03 AM |
India on Monday launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, becoming one of only six nations in the world to design and build a warship of this size and capability.
Marking a red letter day in the history of warship production in the country, Defence Minister A K Antony’s wife Elizabeth launched Vikrant in a traditional ceremony by breaking a coconut at the Cochin Shipyard here.
Standing in front of the majestic hull of Vikrant, Antony termed it as a momentous occasion and urged the Indian industry to participate in the country’s shipbuilding programmes. Referring to the efforts in achieving self-reliance in warship design and production, the Defence Minister pointed out that only a few advanced countries in the world have the capability to design and build aircraft carriers.
“Launching the indigenous aircraft carrier marks just the first step in a long journey, but at the same time an important one”, Antony said.
In the coming 5-10 years India could become the third or fourth biggest economy in the world, he said.
Underlining the need for a vigilant Navy to defend the mainland, islands, off-shore assets, EEZs and sea lines of communication, Antony said India should continue strengthening its indigenous capability towards securing maritime interests.
The Navy must continue to maintain high operational readiness to ward off any misadventure against national interests, he pointed out.
“The country’s warship building programme must meet the Navy’s force level requirements. Over the years, the Navy has made a distinct shift from a buyer’s Navy to a builder’s Navy”, he pointed out.
In a note of appreciation towards the Cochin Shipyard’s efforts, the Defence Minister asked CSL to keep to the timeline regarding the further production and delivery of the aircraft carrier.