Thursday, April 2, 2009

India's first homegrown carrier passes production milestone

The keel of the Indian Navy's first indigenous aircraft carrier (Project 71) was laid by Cochin Shipyard Ltd in Kochi, Kerala

The 37,500-ton carrier - to be named Vikrant - will be built in two phases: the first covering work up to launch at the end of 2010, the second for fitting out and other activities prior to delivery in 2014.

According to an Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) statement on 27 February, Vikrant will be powered by four LM2500 gas turbines developing 80 MW in total and providing a speed of more than 28 kt.

The 252 m-long carrier will have two take-off runways and a landing strip with three arrestor wires. The embarked air arm will eventually comprise up to 30 aircraft, including Russian-built MiG-29K multirole fighters, locally designed light combat aircraft and about 10 Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopters.

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