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INS Vikrant to be inducted by aircraft carrier into Navy in 2021

By the end of 2021, the Indian Navy should have a 45,000-tonne indigenous INS Vikrant aircraft carrier and a 7,500-tonne Visakhapatnam class stealth guided-missile destroyer, bolstering its ability to protect and conquer the Indo-Pacific area.

Next year, the indigenous aircraft carrier and the INS Visakhapatnam will be commissioned into the Navy.

Former Western Navy commander said, “Contractual clauses come alive once the warship is handed over to Indian Navy but commissioning takes times as the vessel is to be tested by the Naval personnel for its capability,” 

Although the Chinese Navy commissioned three main battleships at Sanya in the Hainan naval facility in the disputed South China Sea on Saturday, the Cochin shipyard will begin final trials of the INS Vikrant before handing it over to the Indian Navy. The trials of the INS Visakhapatnam will be completed by Mazagon Dockyards, and the stealth destroyer will be delivered close to Indian Navy Day.

INS Vikrant will be equipped with two squadrons of MiG-29K fighters and ten Kamov Ka-31 helicopters, all of which will be powered by General Electric turbines. The aircraft carrier strike force will have a range of over 15000 kilometres and will be equipped with a Barak surface-to-air missile for aerial defence. Anti-ship and land-attack are the primary attack arms of the INS Visakhapatnam. Apart from torpedoes for anti-shipping, BrahMos cruise missiles

The third aircraft carrier, also known as INS Vishal, will now be seen as a replacement for the currently operating INS Vikramaditya, as the Indian Navy has decided to give priority to nuclear-powered conventional submarines in the future sea-warfare.

The Indian Navy's capability will be bolstered next year when the INS Arighat, the country's second ballistic missile nuclear submarine, is delivered to the Strategic Forces Command. The vessel is currently undergoing trials and will be armed with K-4 intermediate-range ballistic missiles with a range of 3500 kilometres.

The only aircraft carrier in India is currently undergoing repairs and will be operational in the coming months. The decision to build INS Vishal as a replacement for INS Vikramaditya indicates that the third aircraft carrier project is still on the table. Instead, it will take place simultaneously to ensure that there is no void when the INS Vikramaditya is decommissioned and put into storage.

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