Some new photographs of India's first indigenously designed & built Aircraft Carrier, of the Vikrant-class, currently under construction at the Cochin Shipyard Limited, in Kerala. The ship was successfully floated on water for the first time1 in December, last year & work on it continues. It currently weighs around 14,000 tonnes. On completion, it is expected to weigh around 40,000 tonnes, making it the heaviest ship built in India, till now.
Click on the pictures to view higher-resolution images
With the successful completion of constructing this Aircraft Carrier expected to be more or less certain, within a "relaxed" time-frame, talks of building a succeeding Aircraft Carrier of an even higher weight-class [IAC-2] & greater capability are gaining momentum. Some have even gone to the extent of suggesting that the 3rd indigenous Indian Aircraft Carrier [IAC-3] may even be equipped with Nuclear propulsion - a quantum leap in the demonstration of Technological capability of the country, it would be.
Construction work on this Carrier [IAC-1] is expected to be completed by around 2014, to be followed by its launch. Thereafter, it would be put through extensive sea trials, testing & re-testing the vast number of sub-systems that make up the ship, under operational conditions. Its crew would begin familiarising themselves with the platform & learning the ropes of handling it. Only after thoroughly satisfying themselves of the soundness of the design & construction, would the Aircraft Carrier be finally commissioned into the Indian Navy. The time between launch & commissioning could take around 2-3 years. Thus if things don't go horribly wrong from here onwards, the IAC-1 would officially join the Indian Navy's fleet of warships sometime in the year 2016-2017. The day would mark the culmination of many decades of trials & tribulations experienced in the process of accomplishing a national objective.
1 = unlike some folks #kidding