KOCHI: The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) built by the Cochin Shipyard, which is India's pride and a shining example of Atmanirbhar Bharat, will be commissioned in 2022, defence minister Rajnath Singh said in Kochi on Friday.
"Commissioning of the IAC next year will be a befitting tribute to 75 years of India's independence. The combat capability, reach and versatility of the aircraft carrier will add formidable capabilities in the defence of our country and help secure India's interests in the maritime domain," the minister who
reviewed the progress of the project at Cochin Port wharf told media persons.
The initial deadline to deliver IAC-1, to be Commissioned as INS Vikrant, was 2018.
Sources said the sea trials of the aircraft carrier will commence in July.
India's first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) will be commissioned next year: Defence Minister #RajnathSingh said after reviewing the progress made in the construction of #IAC. #atmanirbharbharat— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) June 25, 2021
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The defence minister said 44 warships are being built at Indian shipyards, which is a testimony to the impetus given by the government to modernisation, harnessing India's indigenous industry and know-how.
"The IAC boasts of nearly 75 per cent indigenous content, from design to steel used in construction, to key weapons and sensors. The Defence Acquisitions Committee (DAC) has also recently accorded approval for a request for Proposal of Project 75-I under the Strategic Partnership model, which will give further fillip to the indigenous development of niche manufacturing technologies," said Rajnath Singh.
He said the modernisation measures will help enhance the Indian Navy's operational reach and prowess to protect India's maritime interests.
"The Indian Navy remains poised and combat-ready to tackle any challenge. The Navy's proactive forward deployment during the Galwan standoff signalled our intent that we seek peace but are ready for any eventuality," said Rajnath Singh.
The defence minister applauded the significant contributions made by the Navy in the fight against Covid by bringing back Indian citizens from overseas during Operation Samudra Setu-I, and in shipping the much-needed Liquid Medical Oxygen during Samudra Setu-lI, despite dangers of Covid spread on board warships. The search and rescue efforts by the Navy during Cyclone Tauktae showcased the spirit of daring and courage among our men and women in whites, he said.
Referring to Project Seabird at Karwar, which he visited on Thursday, the defence minister said it will be the largest Naval Base of the Indian Navy in future. The Seabird will provide the facilities and infrastructure to support the Navy's operations in the Indian Ocean Region and beyond.
The Government is fully committed to a strong Navy and these two projects are examples of our unwavering focus, said Rajnath Singh.