Marking a new high in India-Russia strategic cooperation, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today commissioned the completely refurbished 44,500 tonne carrier Admiral Gorshkov into the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya at an impressive ceremony at sub zero temperature in the wind- swept Sevmash Shipyard in the beautiful city of Severodvinsk in Russia. Snow flakes kept falling as the ceremony was held.
Speaking at the event, Shri Antony said INS Vikramaditya would significantly enhance the reach and capability of the Indian Navy. He said, the country has a rich maritime history and the Indian Ocean has guided our fate over the centuries.
“India’s economic development is dependent on the seas and safeguarding the nation’s maritime interests is central to our national policy. Aircraft carriers have been part of the Indian Navy’s force structure since our independence and have effectively served the country over the past five decades or so. The induction of ‘Vikramaditya’ with its integral MiG29K fighters and Kamov-31 helicopters, not only reinforces this central policy, but also adds a new dimension to our Navy’s operational capabilities. The meaning of ‘Vikramaditya’, which literally translates into “Strong as the Sun” is complemented by the Ship’s motto –“Strike Far, Strike Sure”,he said.
Reflecting the mood at the ceremony, Shri Antony said, ‘the event realizes the vision of capability-based transformation of the Indian Navy that was conceived more than a decade ago’. Calling it a Red Letter Day in the history of India- Russia cooperation, Shri Antony said this relationship remains a matter of the highest priority for both nations for our mutual benefit and as a factor of global peace and stability.
“The successful culmination of Project 11430 truly symbolizes the time-tested Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between our two great nations. The Project has propelled the strategic partnership between our nations to a new level. The relationship between our two countries based on mutual trust and belief has withstood the test of time and the result is for the entire world to see in the form of ‘Vikramaditya’. As the ship sails into its home waters in the Indian Ocean Region, INS ‘Vikramaditya’ will be a befitting tribute to our long-standing relationship”, he said.
Describing the Project 11430 as a unique one, Shri Antony said, it was a challenging task for both the Russian and the Indian sides and congratulated the entire team for converting the ‘Dream Project’ into a reality. “The transformation of INS ‘Vikramaditya’ is an engineering marvel, which has tested the professionalism, capability and perseverance of the Indian Navy and the Russian industry, especially the Sevmash Shipyard”, he said and expressed confidence that all possible support would be extended by Russia to ensure that the ship serves India effectively and efficiently for the duration of its expected operational life cycle.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi said the INS Vikramaditya will bridge the time-gap that may come up between the INS Viraat and the Indigenously built aircraft carrier Vikrant.It will also help achieving our medium term goal of operating two aircraft carriers.
A large number of dignitaries including the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Mr Dmitry Rogozin and Defence Minister Mr Shoigu, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi, the Indian Ambassador to Russia Shri Ajay Malhotra, the Defence Secretary Shri RK Mathur, the DG Acquisition Shri SB Agnihotri were present on the occasion.
Mr Rogozin said INS Vikramaditya symbolises the close friendship between India and Russia and expressed confidence that it will grow in the coming years.
About INS Vikramaditya
INS Vikramaditya, the floating airfield has an overall length of about 284 meters and a maximum beam of about 60 meters, stretching as much as three football fields put together. Standing about 20 storeys tall from keel to the highest point, the sheer sight of this 44,500 tonne mega structure of steel is awe inspiring. The ship has a total of 22 decks.
With over 1,600 personnel on board, INS Vikramaditya is literally a ‘Floating City’. With a capacity of over 8,000 tonnes of LSHSD, she is capable of operations up to a range of over 7,000 nautical miles or 13000 kms.
To enable this 44,500 tonnes floating steel city to cut through the choppy seas with speeds of up to 30 knots, she is powered by 08 new generation steam boilers generating a total output power of 180,000 SHP. These boilers power four enormous propellers, each greater in diameter than twice the height of an average male. Such a four propeller – four shaft configuration is another first in the Indian Navy.
The power generation capacity onboard is about 18 megawatts enough to cater to the lighting requirement of a mini city. An extensive revamp of sensors including fitment of Long range Air Surveillance Radars, Advanced Electronic Warfare Suite makes the ship capable of maintaining a surveillance bubble of over 500 kms around the ship.
The ship has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft comprising an assortment of MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters. The MiG 29K swing role fighter is the main offensive platform and provides a quantum jump for the Indian Navy’s maritime strike capability. These fourth generation air superiority fighters provide a significant fillip for the Indian Navy with a range of over 700 nm and an array of weapons including anti-ship missiles, Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles, guided bombs and rockets.
The ship is equipped with state of the art launch and recovery systems along with aids to enable smooth and efficient operation of ship borne aircraft. Major systems include the LUNA Landing system for MiGs, DAPS Landing system for Sea Harriers and Flight deck lighting systems.
The heart of the operational network that infuses life into the combat systems onboard the ship is the Computer aided Action Information Organisation (CAIO) system, LESORUB-E, with the capability to gather data from ship’s sensors and data links and to process, collate and assemble comprehensive tactical pictures. This state of the art system has been specifically designed keeping in mind the essential requirement on the carrier for fighter control and direction.
One of the most prominent equipment fitted on the super structure is the Resistor-E radar complex. Resistor-E is the automated system designed for providing air traffic control, approach/landing and short range navigation for ship borne aircraft. This complex along with its various sub-systems provides navigation and flight data to ship borne aircraft operating at extended ranges from the mother ship. The precision approach guidance system aids the fighters on approach to be directed down to a distance of 30 meters short of flight deck. INS Vikramaditya also boasts of a very modern communication complex, CCS MK II, to meet her external communication requirement. Installation of Link II tactical data system allows her to be fully integrated with the Indian Navy’s network centric operations.