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NEW DELHI, July 8 (Itar-Tass) - An Indian-made INS Vikrant aircraft carrier whose construction began in 2009 is to be heaved off in August. But the ship is unlikely to come in service with the Indian Navy before 2018, the Times of India newspaper reported on Monday, citing an Indian Defense Ministry official.
The aircraft carrier is expected to be launched in the town of Kochi, the Indian state of Kerala, on August 12. Indian Defense Minister Mr. A. K. Antony will be present at the ceremony.
The Indian Defense Ministry hopes that the aircraft carrier will undergo test trials in 2016. The test trials will last for more than 12 months since it is India’s first experience in building an aircraft carrier.
The INS Vikrant aircraft carrier has a water displacement of 37,500 tons; it is 256 meters long and 56 meters wide; the immersion is 12 meters, the full speed is 28 knots, the cruising range is 7,500 miles with a speed of 18 knots. Its crew consists of 1,400 people, including 160 officers, without the air wing’s staff. The ship is intended to deliver air strikes at sea and surface targets, support land troops in continental theatres of military hostilities and carry out amphibious assaults. The project has been implemented since 2003.
Presently, the Indian Navy has one light aircraft carrier INS Viraat. It was commissioned in 1959 and has considerable physical depreciation.