Edited by: Divya Thearia
2 September 2022 (New Delhi): INS Vikrant is India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier and the largest ship in the country’s nautical history. On Friday, PM Modi commissioned the carrier, which incorporates cutting-edge automation and it was built at the cost of Rs 20,000 crore. The INS Vikrant will help to maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
A wonderful story
INS Vikrant began her career as the HMS Hercules, an aircraft carrier in the (British) Royal Navy during WWII. The Indian government purchased HMS Hercules in 1957. On March 4, 1961, it was commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Vikrant in Belfast. Vikrant was named after the Sanskrit term ‘Vikranta,’ which means’ very powerful ‘and’ brave.’ On November 3, 1961, the ship formally joined the Indian Navy in Bombay Harbour and was welcomed by then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru at Ballar Pier.
During the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, the ship played an active role. The aircraft carrier served another 26 years before being decommissioned on January 31, 1997.
INS Vikrant is India’s largest warship, measuring 262 metres long and 62 metres wide. It can carry up to 30 aircraft, including MiG-29K fighter jets and helicopters. The warship has a crew of about 1,600 people.
India’s next super power
With the construction of the “Vikrant,” India has joined a small group of countries that have the unique capability of designing and building aircraft carrier in-house, including the US, the UK, Russia, China, and France.
Dominance in the Indian Ocean region
The Indian Navy regards the new cruiser as an important addition to its weaponry. India may now enhance its maritime presence by deploying an aircraft carrier on both its eastern and western seaboards.
China has been aggressively increasing its marine power. According to recent satellite pictures obtained by NDTV, China’s naval base in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, is now fully operational and supports warships stationed in the Indian Ocean region. India was likewise concerned when a Chinese “spy” ship stopped in Sri Lanka recently.