13 Aug 2013

Aircraft carrier launched by India

7:15 am on 13 August 2013

India has unveiled its first home-built aircraft carrier from a shipyard in southern Kerala state.

INS Vikrant was launched amid chanting from ancient Hindu scriptures at the Kochi shipyard

With this, India joins a select group of countries capable of building such a vessel. Other countries capable of building a similar ship are the United States, Britain, Russia and France.

The BBC reports extensive trials of the 37,500 tonne carrier are expected to be held in 2016 before the carrier is inducted into the navy by 2018. The ship will now re-docked for outfitting and further construction.

The Vikrant was built at a shipyard in Cochin. It was designed and manufactured domestically, using high grade steel made by a state-owned steel company.

Vice-Admiral RK Dhowan described the launch as the "crowning glory" of the navy's programme to produce vessels on home soil.