Issue Brief on “India’s First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier: Implications for the Indian Ocean Region”


From relying heavily on great powers for the development of its naval force to developing its first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1), also known as the INS Vikrant, India is on its way to becoming one of the deadliest naval powers in the world. Five-day long sea trials for INS Vikrant began on August 4, 2021, and it is set to be commissioned next year. An aircraft carrier is a floating airbase in the sea that “supports and operates aircraft that engage in attacks on airborne, afloat and ashore targets.”[1] The aircraft carrier is undoubtedly a potent maritime asset for the Indian Navy, “which enhances its capability to travel far from its home shores to carry out air domination operations.”[2] Its reach makes it complex and unique from other warships. The INS Vikrant has been designed by the IN’s Directorate of Naval Design and built at Cochin Shipyard Limited, a public sector shipyard under the Ministry of Shipping.[3] India is now included in the league of the seven great powers that are capable of designing and manufacturing aircraft carriers indigenously. The length of this mammoth warship is 262 metres and it has a displacement of 40,000 tonnes.

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