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India's first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant set sail on Wednesday to begin it first sea trial. Designed by Indian Navy's Directorate of Naval Design (DND), and built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), the advanced warship is also the first attempt by the two entities to build an aircraft carrier from the ground up.

Indian Navy shared images and videos as the aircraft carrier took to sea for the first time. "Proud & historic day for India as the reincarnated Vikrant sails for her maiden sea trials today, in the 50th year of her illustrious predecessor’s key role in victory in the 1971 war Largest & most complex warship ever to be designed & built in India. Many more will follow..."

Ministry of Defence shared more images of INS Vikrant being escorted to the sea at Kochi.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in a tweet: "Maiden sea sortie of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, ‘Vikrant’ is a true testimony to our unwavering commitment to #Atmanirbharta in Defence. Realisation of this historic milestone, regardless of COVID, shows true dedication & commitment of all stakeholders. A proud moment for India."

During the maiden sea trails, Vikrant's performance, including hull, main propulsion, PGD and auxiliary equipment would be closely watched.

According to information shared by Ministry of Defence, Vikrant is 262 metres long, measuring 62 metres at the widest part, and 59 metres high including the superstructure. There are 14 decks in total, along with five in the superstructure.

Vikrant has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers. The ship has been designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability, the ministry said.

The indigenous aircraft carrier can reach a top speed of 28 knots and maintain a cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles. The ship can accommodate an assortment of fixed wing and rotary aircraft.

The ship underwent tests to check the readiness of its propulsion and power generation systems in harbour as part of basin trials in November 20. Though the commencement of sea trials was delayed due to the second wave of Covid-19, those working on Vikrant made it ready for sea trials as soon as possible.

Vikrant, monickered IAC-1, has been named after the now-decommissioned aircraft carrier that played a crucial role in the 1971 war. It is likely to be commissioned to Indian Navy sometime around latter half of next year with the name INS Vikrant.

The Defence Ministry said that construction process of INS Vikrant generated employment opportunities for 2,000 CSL personnel and about 12,000 employees in ancillary industries. Over 76 per cent indigenous content towards procurement of equipment, besides work by CSL and their subcontractors is being directly invested back into the Indian economy, the ministry further added.

There are 44 ships and submarines being made indigenously, the ministry stated.

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