M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President visited the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) ‘Vikrant’ under advanced stage of construction at Cochin Shipyard Ltd at Kochi, on January 2, 2022.
The Vice President of India was briefed on the uniqueness of the project and progress of construction during the visit. He was also briefed about efforts being made towards ship’s delivery and commissioning prior August 2022 to commemorate ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Vice President was appreciative of the Nation’s capability in designing and constructing an Aircraft Carrier and lauded it as a shining example of our quest for ‘AtmaNirbharta’ or self-reliant India.
Indian Navy is a formidable resident maritime power in the Indian Ocean Region; and the Aircraft Carrier Battle Group remains central to its concept of operations. Vikrant will provide the Indian Navy with the requisite flexibility, mobility, reach and combat power in pursuance of our national interests and also serve as a strong catalyst for peace and stability in the Indian Ocean Region. An Aircraft Carrier also holds a position of strategic and technological eminence, and is rightly considered the pinnacle in the domain of warship design and construction. With the construction of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, India will enter into select band of countries having niche indigenous capability for designing and building of an Aircraft Carrier.
The Indian shipbuilding industry has come a long way since the 1960s with the IAC Vikrant being the hallmark of India’s indigenous industrial capability. The indigenous content in construction of IAC is close to 76% of overall project cost of 19341 Crs. The ship has large number of indigenous materials such as steel, besides other equipment and systems manufactured by Indian industrial houses and about 100 MSMEs. The indigenous construction of the carrier has generated employment opportunities not only within the shipyard but also for many other industries supporting the project externally. This has resulted in a “plough back” effect on the domestic economy. Close to 2000 shipyard and 13000 non-yard personnel have been employed per annum towards construction of IAC.
During the visit, Vice President was accompanied by the Governor of Kerala Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief of Staff Southern Naval Command Rear Admiral Antony George, CMD Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) Madhu S Nair, and other senior officials of Navy and CSL. The Vice President was briefed about the contribution of the indigenous technologies and capabilities during the walk around of the carrier and he expressed satisfaction and appreciated the efforts of the Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard towards strengthening our Indigenous warship building capabilities. Vice President also expressed satisfaction at the progress of work made so far despite COVID related imponderables.
Later, the Vice President visited Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and unveiled Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial. He also laid the foundation stone of a Towed Array Integration Facility and handed over an Automated Sonar Trainer to the Navy. The Vice President is on a three-day visit to Kerala and arrived at Kochi Naval airport on Sunday morning, after his tour of Lakshadweep. Earlier on the daya ceremonial 100 men guard was paraded at INS Garuda in honour of the Vice President.