KOCHI: The national agencies have launched a detailed probe after an electronic digital device was found missing from the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant in a major security breach.
The police said the incident occurred at the Cochin Shipyard’s high-security zone where the vessel is being constructed. Vikrant is scheduled to be inducted into the Indian Navy in 2021.
Kerala police chief Loknath Behera told Express that a special investigation team has been formed to probe the incident considering its gravity.
Kochi City Additional Police Commissioner K P Philip said a case was registered based on a complaint lodged by the shipyard authorities on Monday.
The police, however, refused to divulge the details of the device and confirm whether it was a theft.
Preliminary probe revealed the device was found in the vessel till August 28. Shipyard company secretary V Kala said the theft was reported from Vikrant on Monday and they have lodged a complaint with the police.
“We do have necessary security as the CISF is guarding the facility. We don’t know how the theft took place. Let’s wait for the police report,” said Kala, who added she could not divulge more details as it was a highly sensitive security issue.
Theft exposes chinks in Shipyard’s armour
The incident has exposed a major chink in the armour of Cochin Shipyard where India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is also brought for refit and maintenance.
Vikrant is the most prestigious aircraft carrier indigenously built at the Cochin Shipyard. The 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier is at an advanced stage of construction and is being prepared to undergo a series of trial processes and tests before it becomes ready for propulsion and induction into the Indian Navy.
Its basic design was done by the Directorate of Naval Design. The ship has a length of over 260 metres and a breadth of 60 metres.
It has two take-off runways and a landing strip.