Rebirth of India’s first aircraft carrier as INS Vikrant , new flag unveiled

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INS Vikrant
INS Vikrant was commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India’s first indeginous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant has been commissioned in the Indian Navy at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kerala. Apart from commissioning of a great warship , 2 September 2022 will be also remembered in Indian Navy’s history as it got a new flag today itself.INS Vikrant has 76 percent indigenous content.

Built at the cost of Rs 2000 crore , INS Vikrant was commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.PM Modi described the event as tribute to the rising spirits of India on the world horizon. He said that today we are seeing a manifestation of the dream of the freedom fighters where they envisioned a capable and strong India. The Prime Minister exclaimed “Vikrant is huge, massive, and vast. Vikrant is distinguished, Vikrant is also special. Vikrant is not just a warship. This is a testament to the hard work, talent, influence and commitment of India in the 21st century. If the goals are distant, the journeys are long, the ocean and the challenges are endless – then India’s answer is Vikrant. The incomparable Amrit of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is Vikrant. Vikrant is a unique reflection of India becoming self-reliant.”

The Prime Minister also unveiled the new Naval Ensign (Nishaan), doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage. He dedicated the new ensign to Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged and praised the contribution of the Navy, engineers of Cochin Shipyard, scientists and specially the workers who worked on the project. He also noted the happy and auspicious occasion of Onam that is adding even more happiness to the occasion.

According to a press release , every part of INS Vikrant has its own merits, a strength, a development journey of its own. It is a symbol of indigenous potential, indigenous resources and indigenous skills. The steel installed in its airbase is also indigenous, developed by DRDO scientists and produced by Indian companies, he said. Explaining the massive proportions of the Carrier, the Prime Minister said it is like a floating city. It produces electricity that is sufficient to power 5000 households and the wiring used will reach Kashi from Kochi, he said. He said that INS Vikrant is a living embodiment of the Spirit of the Panch Prans that he proclaimed from the ramparts of Red Fort.

The Prime Minister talked about the Indian Maritime tradition and naval capabilities. Chhatrapati Veer Shivaji Maharaj, he said, built such a navy on the strength of this sea power, which kept the enemies on their toes. When the British came to India, they used to be intimidated by the power of Indian ships and trade through them. So they decided to break the back of India’s maritime power. History is witness to how strict restrictions were imposed on Indian ships and merchants by enacting a law in the British Parliament at that time, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister noted that today on the historic date of September 2, 2022, India has taken off a trace of slavery, a burden of slavery. The Indian Navy has got a new flag from today. Till now the identity of slavery remained on the flag of Indian Navy. But from today onwards, inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji, the new Navy flag will fly in the sea and in the sky.

Icon of Pride:

In his address, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the commissioning of INS Vikrant at the onset of ‘Amritkal’ (early morning) as a testament to the Government’s strong resolve to ensure the safety and security of the nation in the next 25 years. “INS Vikrant is a glowing symbol of an aspirational and self-reliant ‘New India’. It is an icon of pride, power and resolve of the Nation. Its commissioning is an unprecedented achievement in the path of building indigenous warships. The Indian Navy’s tradition is ‘old ships never die’. This new avatar of Vikrant, which played a stellar role in the 1971 war, is a humble tribute to our freedom fighters and brave soldiers,” he said.

Shri Singh also asserted that it is a key responsibility of the Indian Navy to secure the country’s maritime interests for uninterrupted maritime trade, amid the constantly-changing global situation. He commended the Navy for always being the ‘First Responder’ in times of any national or international crisis and exuded confidence that the commissioning of INS Vikrant will further enhance the force’s capability. He added that this is an assurance to the friendly foreign countries that India is fully capable of meeting the collective security needs of the region.

Five pledges :

Speaking on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar voiced the Navy’s resolve for India@100 to become completely self-reliant until 2047, consisting of ‘Made in India’ ships, submarines, aircraft, unmanned vessels and systems and remain a ‘Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future-Proof Force’. He added that the Navy is determined to move forward on the path of five pledges – developed India, removing any sign of servility, pride in heritage, unity and fulfilling the duties – as envisioned by the Prime Minister.

Admiral R. Hari Kumar exhorted the Commanding Officer and crew of INS Vikrant to take forward the proud legacy of erstwhile Vikrant which served the country for 36 glorious years and played a significant role in the 1971 war.

INS Vikrant
INS Vikrant

About INS Vikrant :

With the commissioning of INS Vikrant, India has entered into a select band of Nations having niche capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier and real testimony to the Nation’s resolve for self-reliance and ‘Make in India’.

INS Vikrant is designed by Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Vikrant has been built with state of the art automation features and is the largest ship ever built in maritime history of India.

Features of INS Vikrant :

The 262.5 meter long and 61.6 meter wide Vikrant displaces approximately 43,000 Tonnes, having a maximum designed speed of 28 Knots with endurance of 7,500 Nautical Miles. The ship has around 2,200 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,600 including women officers and sailors.

INS Vikrant is capable of operating air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising of MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy). Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR), INS Vikrant is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft, and a set of ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery onboard.

With 76% indigenous content, construction of INS Vikrant has resulted in direct employment generation for over 2,000 employees of CSL. In addition, it has resulted in indirect employment generation for approx 12,500 employees for over 550 OEMs, sub-contractors, ancillary industries and over 100 MSMEs as well, thereby bolstering plough back effect on economy.

New Ensign of indian Navy :

Resonant to the ongoing national endeavour to move away from colonial past, the need was felt to transition to a new design that drew inspiration from our history. The White Ensign identified nation-wide with the Navy, now comprises two main constituents – the National Flag in the upper left canton, and a Navy Blue – Gold octagon at the centre of the fly side (away from the staff). The Octagon is with twin golden octagonal borders encompassing the golden National Emblem (Lion Capital of Ashoka – underscribed with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in blue Devnagri script) resting atop an anchor; and superimposed on a shield. Below the shield, within the octagon, in a golden bordered ribbon, on a Navy Blue background, is inscribed the motto of the Indian Navy ‘Sam No Varunah’ in golden Devanagari Script. The design encompassed within the octagon has been taken from the Indian Naval crest, wherein the fouled anchor, which is also associated with colonial legacy, has been replaced with a clear anchor underscoring the steadfastness of the Indian Navy.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Defence Minister of State Ajay Bhatt and senior civil & military officials of Ministry of Defence and CSL were among those present on the occasion