The Indian Navy has commissioned its new aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, at Sevmash Shipyard in Severodvinsk, Russia.
Capable of accommodating a crew of 1,600, the completely refurbished 44,500t INS Vikramaditya has an overall length of about 284m, a maximum beam of about 60m and a range of over 7,000nm.
Indian defence minister AK Antony said INS Vikramaditya is expected to 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," Antony said.
"The induction of Vikramaditya'with its integral MiG29K fighters and Kamov-31 helicopters, not only reinforces this central policy, but also adds a new dimension to our navy's operational capabilities."
Powered by eight new generation steam boilers, the aircraft carrier can operate Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG)-built MiG 29K multirole fighter aircraft, the Kamov 31 medium-weight naval helicopter and Kamov 28 naval anti-submarine helicopter, the Sikorsky Sea King aircraft and Chetak aircraft.
"The meaning of 'Vikramaditya', which literally translates into 'strong as the sun' is complemented by the ship's motto: "Strike Far, Strike Sure."
The short takeoff but arrested recovery (STOBAR) aircraft carrier is equipped with sensors and launch and recovery systems, and enables the smooth and efficient operation of ship-borne aircraft.
Naval chief of staff, admiral Joshi, said INS Vikramaditya will bridge the time-gap that occurs between the INS Viraat and the indigenously built aircraft carrier Vikrant by helping achieving medium term goal of operating two aircraft carriers.
The warship also features Resistor-E radar complex automated system to provide air traffic control, approach / landing and short range navigation for ship borne aircraft as well as modern communication complex, CCS MK II, to meet her external communication requirements.
Image: INS Vikramaditya docked at a shipyard. Photo: courtesy of Indian Navy.