In­dia launches in­dige­nous air­craft car­rier

Southasia - - BRIEFING -

In­dia launched its first in­dige­nously-built air­craft car­rier, a land­mark mo­ment in the $5 bil­lion pro­ject that seeks to pro­mote the coun­try’s power and check the ris­ing in­flu­ence of China.

When the INS Vikrant comes into full ser­vice in 2018, In­dia will be­come the fifth na­tion to have de­signed and built its own air­craft car­rier, push­ing ahead of China to join an elite club that in­cludes Bri­tain, France, Rus­sia and the United States.

“It’s a re­mark­able mile­stone,” De­fence Min­is­ter AK Antony said as he stood in front of the gi­ant grey hull of the ship at a cer­e­mony in Kochi. “It marks just a first step in a long jour­ney but at the same time an im­por­tant one,” Antony added.

The ship, which will be fit­ted with weaponry and ma­chin­ery and then tested over the next four years, is a ma­jor ad­vance for a coun­try com­pet­ing for in­flu­ence in Asia, an­a­lysts say.

INS Vikrant

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