Kochi, Feb 28: Defence Minister A.K. Antony laid the keel of the country's first indigenous aircraft carrier at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) here today, which marked a significant upgradation of India's shipbuilding capabilities.
A.K. Antony described the occasion as a 'historic moment for India'. 'It is a crucial milestone and a moment to cherish in the country's maritime history.'
With a displacement of 40,000 tonnes, the carrier will be the first military vessel at CSL. To be launched in 2010, the ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Indian Navy in 2014.
In a press release issued here Friday CSL said it had been selected for the challenging project based on its technical expertise, inherent strength in detailed engineering, capacity to innovate, reputation for on time delivery and modern infrastructure.
The yard commenced the steel cutting for this project in April 2005 and has achieved the keel laying as per schedule, after the government sanctioned the design in January 2003.
The ship, which is 260 metres long and 60 metres wide, will be propelled by two LM2500 gas turbines that will enable it attain speeds in excess of 28 knots.
With two runways and a landing strip equipped with three arrester wires, the ship will carry a maximum of 30 aircraft with adequate hangar capacity.
The design of this prestigious ship has been undertaken by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) that has experience of over 40 years in successfully designing 17 different classes of warships.