KOCHI: India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is expected to be operationalised by the end of January, said Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of Southern Naval Command (SNC) Vice Admiral M A Hampiholi in Kochi on Saturday.
Interacting with mediapersons on board First Training Squadron vessel INS Tir, on the occasion of Navy Day, he said the Navy has been pitching with the Centre for a third aircraft carrier and is waiting for the decision.
He said that the northern jetty of Kochi Naval Base will be completed by October 2024. “Today the Navy is a 130 vessel force and we expect to have 160 to 170 vessels by 2035. As the number of vessels increases we need more berthing space.
The new vessels perhaps would be bigger in size. We have a maritime capability perspective plan and a maritime capability infrastructure development plan. The construction of 66 vessels is progressing at various shipyards in India while two others are being built in foreign shipyards,” he said.
Regarding the seizure of 2,500 kg methamphetamine off Kochi in May 2023, the SNC chief said the Navy has no information about the mother vessel. The Narcotics Control Bureau had claimed that the mother vessel which was transporting the drugs couldn’t be seized as it sank.