India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant, is likely to be based at Visakhapatnam, the headquarters of Eastern Naval Command. Currently being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited, INS Vikrant goes by the motto ‘Jayema Sam Yudhi Sprdhah’, which can be translated to “I defeat those who fight against me”
“In tandem with the growth of the Indian economy, I see the Eastern Fleet will be more capable. We should be having more capable assets. Hopefully, the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) will be based in Visakhapatnam and it should be operating as part of the Eastern Fleet in 2023 if all goes well,” its Flag Officer Commanding (FOCEF), Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi told Economic Times.
According to Tripathi, the Eastern Fleet has grown in strength and capability over the years and now operates some of the most modern warships, which include the Shivalik class stealth frigates and the Kamorta class anti-submarine corvettes.
Started in 2008, the scale and complexity of the project caused problems which delayed the commencement and timeline of construction for the carrier. Technical difficulties, the cost of refitting the Russian-built carrier INS Vikramaditya, and billions in cost overrun delayed plans for the first of the vessels to enter service, with completion projected for 2023. Tripathi said that INS Vikrant would start sea trials by 2020.
Indian Navy, he said, aims to secure national interests, provide maritime, coastal and offshore security and also ensure safe and secure seas by assisting friendly countries in any contingency.