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Monday, March 2, 2009

Antony lays keel of first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony laid the keel of the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) at a simple ceremony at the Cochin Shipyard in Kochi. Scheduled to be completed by 2014, the feat will catapult India as only the fourth nation in the world into the exclusive club of nations which have the capability of designing and building 40,000 tonne aircraft carriers.

Shri Antony said ‘we are living in a world of uncertainty, conflict, threats from maritime terrorism, piracy, narcotics, smuggling and low-intensity conflict, perpetrated by state in some cases and with non-state players in others, are on the rise’. He hoped that the country will operate two to three aircraft carriers simultaneously in not too distant future.

The design and construction of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier was sanctioned by the government in January 2003. This is the most prestigious project, which the Indian Navy has taken up in-house so far. The design and construction of this ship is a technical complexity whose dimensions far outstrip any such challenge faced hitherto by the Indian Naval Designers. Indigenous Aircraft Carrier designed by Navy’s Design Organisation and being built at M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited would be capable of operating an aircraft mix of Russian MiG-29K, Ka 31 and indigenous LCA.

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