The Indian Navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is currently under the third phase of construction.
An unidentified source told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that the carrier Vikrant will join the navy by 2021.
The 260m-long and 60m-wide carrier is the largest warship being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi, India.
The source was quoted by PTI as saying: “Currently, Phase III of the construction of Vikrant is under progress, which involves setting to work of machinery and equipment, like power generation and propulsion machinery.
“The carrier is likely to be commissioned by early 2021.”
Following the completion of the third phase of construction, the 40,000t vessel will undergo harbour and sea trials.
Vikrant will also be put through aviation trials, which are expected to last a year or beyond. The carrier will be capable of handling a fleet of MiG-29K aircraft.
Navy chief admiral Karambir Singh said that Vikrant will achieve full operational capability by 2022.
Last month, the vessel’s engines were fired-up, marking a significant milestone in the long-delayed project. It is equipped with four GE LM2500 gas turbines.
Vikrant features a vertical launch system for long-range surface-to-air missile deployment, a modern early air warning radar, jamming capabilities, and other advanced technologies.
The future INS Vikrant, along with MiG-29K aircraft, is set to be displayed as part of the navy’s parade on the country’s Republic Day.
Currently, INS Vikramadithya is the only operational carrier.