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.