The first Indian-made aircraft carrier will be commissioned by 2014. The ship is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) for the Indian Navy.
With this, India joins the elite club capable of designing and building aircraft carriers of 40,000 tonne. Designed by the Directorate of Naval Design, the carrier will be completed in two phases and can accommodate 30 aircraft. The ship will be 260 metre long and 60 metre wide.
Laying the keel for the first indigenous aircraft carrier last Saturday, defence Minister AK Antony said the second order might also be given to CSL when the first one is handed over to the Navy.
Construction work on the blocks of the ship commenced in November 2006. There will be take off and landing facilities for fighter aircraft like MIG-29 K and Indian-made light combat aircraft.
Stating that he was opposed to the privatisation move of the shipyard, Antony said the defence ministry had allotted Rs 200 crore for developing basic infrastructural facilities of the yard like cranes and workshop. During 2007-08, CSL registered a turnover of Rs 967 crore and earned a net profit of Rs 93 crore.
Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta on the occasion said India had already built 90 warships indigenously and was building another 32 warships and six submarines at various shipyards.
Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T R Baalu inaugurated the small ship division complex (SSDC) and the paint coating shop at Cochin Shipyard. SSDC will enable CSL to take up concurrent construction of commercial ships along with war ships. The paint coating shop will enable blasting and painting in controlled atmospheric conditions.