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The mighty INS VIKRANT with a smaller island and repositioned aft & outboard sections

India's first indigenously built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, will be inducted into the Indian Navy the by the end of 2018, Rear Admiral Surendra Ahuja said on Friday (16 December). Ahuja is the Assistant Controller of Carrier Projects at the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence (Navy).

INS Vikrant is being built by Cochin Shipyard in Kochi. Work on the ship's design began in 1999 and the construction started in February 2009. According to a Comptroller & Auditor General report, the aircraft carrier will be ready only by 2023. The Navy, however, maintains that the aircraft carriers will be inducted by December 2018.

INS Vikrant is 262 metres long and 60 metres wide, and displaces about 40,000 metric tonnes (39,000 long tonnes). It is expected to carry an air group comprising of thirty aircraft, which will include up to 24–26 fixed-wing combat aircraft. It will have around 10 Kamov Ka-31, Westland Sea King and HAL Dhruv helicopters. The Ka-31 will fulfill the airborne early warning role and the Sea King will augment the ship’s anti-submarine warfare capability.

Ahuja, who was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the passing out parade of 87th helicopter course of INS Rajjali at Arakkonam in Vellore, said that the Navy is also seeking central government’s approval to build a bigger aircraft carrier, weighing 65,000 tonnes.

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