India’s First Locally Built Aircraft Carrier, Submarine Unveiled
Posted on August 26, 2013
Lined with pastel tassels along with multicolored umbrellas, this aircraft carrier looks more like a ship on a peace mission than a symbol of India’s naval power.
At least for now.
On August 12, the unveiling ceremony in Cochin, Kerala, showcased aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, the first of its kind proudly built in India’s local shipyard.
News of the aircraft carrier’s launching came after the successful test of India’s medium-range nuclear missile, the Prithvi II. But even these military displays were just precursors to the launching of India’s first locally built nuclear submarine, the INS Arihant; and the handing over of a Russian-built carrier to the Indian Navy.
Weighing close to 40,000 tons, the INS Vikrant boasts an area larger than two football fields combined. However, more tests are required before the carrier goes into full operation in 2018. It is designed to carry Tejas and MiG29 fighter jets.
Mohan Guruswamy of the Centre for Policy Alternatives asserts the need to address India’s ever-tightening rivalry with China, referring to the two countries’ border dispute near the Tibetan Plateau.
To give India an edge, he looks toward the Indian Ocean as the new frontier in terms of military and naval power, hoping that such a plan will give China a run for its money and power.
But for now, the aircraft carrier continues to bask in its glory as it is gracefully adorned and revered before it shows off its real power in the years to come.