INS Vikra­ma­ditya in­ducted into In­dian Navy


At a cer­e­mony held at Sev­mash Ship­yard in city of Severod­vinsk in Rus­sia on Novem­ber 16, De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony com­mis­sioned the In­dian Naval Ship Vikra­ma­ditya. The com­mis­sion­ing of the long-de­layed air­craft car­rier is a boost to In­dia’s mar­itime ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Speak­ing dur­ing the hand­ing over cer­e­mony, the De­fence Min­is­ter called it a Red Let­ter Day in the his­tory of In­dia-Rus­sia co­op­er­a­tion.

Antony said INS Vikra­ma­ditya would sig­nif­i­cantly en­hance the reach and ca­pa­bil­ity of the In­dian Navy. “In­dia’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is de­pen­dent on the seas and safe­guard­ing the na­tion’s mar­itime in­ter­ests is cen­tral to our na­tional pol­icy. Air­craft car­ri­ers have been part of the In­dian Navy’s force struc­ture since in­de­pen­dence and have ef­fec­tively served the coun­try over the past five decades or so. The in­duc­tion of Vikra­ma­ditya with its in­te­gral MiG-29K fight­ers and Kamov-31 he­li­copters, not only re­in­forces this cen­tral pol­icy, but also adds a new di­men­sion to our Navy’s op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties.”

“The suc­cess­ful cul­mi­na­tion of Project 11430 truly sym­bol­ises the time-tested Spe­cial and Priv­i­leged Strate­gic Part­ner­ship be­tween our two great na­tions. The Project has pro­pelled the strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween our na­tions to a new level. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween our two coun­tries based on mu­tual trust and be­lief has with­stood the test of time and the re­sult is for the en­tire world to see in the form of Vikra­ma­ditya. As the ship sails into its home waters in the In­dian Ocean re­gion, INS Vikra­ma­ditya will be a be­fit­ting trib­ute to our long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ship,” he said.

De­scrib­ing the Project 11430 as a unique one, Antony said, it was a chal­leng­ing task for both the Rus­sian and the In­dian sides and con­grat­u­lated the en­tire team for con­vert­ing the ‘Dream Project’ into a re­al­ity. “The trans­for­ma­tion of INS Vikra­ma­ditya is an engineering mar­vel, which has tested the pro­fes­sion­al­ism, ca­pa­bil­ity and per­se­ver­ance of the In­dian Navy and the Rus­sian in­dus­try, es­pe­cially the Sev­mash Ship­yard,” he said and ex­pressed con­fi­dence that all pos­si­ble sup­port would be ex­tended by Rus­sia to en­sure that the ship serves In­dia ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently for the du­ra­tion of its ex­pected op­er­a­tional life cy­cle.”

The Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral D.K. Joshi said the INS Vikra­ma­ditya will bridge the time gap that may come up be­tween the INS Vi­raat and the in­dige­nously-built air­craft car­rier Vikrant. “It will also help achiev­ing our medium-term goal of op­er­at­ing two air­craft car­ri­ers.”

The Deputy Prime Min­is­ter of Rus­sia, Dmitry Ro­gozin and De­fence Min­is­ter Shoigu, the In­dian Am­bas­sador to Rus­sia Ajay Malhotra, the De­fence Sec­re­tary R.K. Mathur, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral (Ac­qui­si­tion) S.B. Ag­ni­hotri were also present on the oc­ca­sion. Ro­gozin said INS Vikra­ma­ditya sym­bol­ises the close friend­ship be­tween In­dia and Rus­sia and ex­pressed con­fi­dence that it will grow in the com­ing years.

The re­fur­bished 44,500-tonne car­rier Ad­mi­ral Gor­shkov has an over­all length of about 284 me­tres and a max­i­mum beam of about 60 me­tres, stretch­ing as much as three foot­ball fields put to­gether. The ship has a to­tal of 22 decks.

With over 1,600 per­son­nel on­board, INS Vikra­ma­ditya has the abil­ity to carry over 30 air­craft com­pris­ing an as­sort­ment of MiG-29K/ Sea Har­rier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak he­li­copters. The MiG-29K swing role fighter is the main of­fen­sive plat­form and pro­vides a quan­tum jump for the In­dian Navy’s mar­itime strike ca­pa­bil­ity. Th­ese fourth-gen­er­a­tion air su­pe­ri­or­ity fight­ers pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant fil­lip for the In­dian Navy with a range of over 700 nm and an ar­ray of weapons in­clud­ing anti-ship mis­siles, be­yond vis­ual range air-to-air mis­siles, guided bombs and rock­ets.

(Left) The In­dian Navy flag is hoisted on INS Vikra­ma­ditya as it is com­mis­sioned into In­dian Navy, at Sev­mash Ship­yard in Rus­sia on Novem­ber 16, 2013; (Right) De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony walk­ing on the flight deck of INS Vikra­ma­ditya at Sev­mash Ship­yard in

Rus­sia. The Chief of Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral D.K. Joshi is also seen.

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