The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed that the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC), ‘INS Vikrant’, will be commissioned in the first half of next year.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has recently reviewed the progress made in the IAC construction.

The IAC is currently being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi, India.

Rajnath stated that IAC has nearly 75% indigenous content, right from design to steel used in construction of major weapons and sensors.

Commenting on the vessel, the minister said that it ‘will add formidable capabilities in the defence of the country and help secure India’s interests in maritime domain’.

He added: “IAC and Project Seabird at Karwar, which will be the Asia’s largest naval base, (are) examples of our unwavering focus.

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“Indian Navy remains poised and combat ready to tackle any challenge.”

In December last year, CSL completed the basin trials of INS Vikrant. Basin trials were carried out in November 2020 to test the propulsion, transmission and shafting systems.

The 40,000t IAC Vikrant is capable of accommodating MiG 29K fighter jets and helicopters.

The 260m-long and 60m-wide carrier is said to be the largest ship to be built at Cochin Shipyard.

The effort is a major step towards India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Atmanirbhar Bharat aims to make India self-reliant and increase domestic defence manufacturing in the country.

The Indian Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) recently cleared a major project to build six new conventional submarines for the Indian Navy at a cost of about approximately $5.88bn (Rs430bn).