INS Vikramaditya reaches Karwar

INS Vikramaditya reaches Karwar

Indian Navy’s latest aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, reached Karwar on Monday night after more than 40 days of sailing from Russia.

The $2.33 billion ship is anchored off Karwar and waiting for suitable tidal condition to enter the port for a berth. Escorted by several frontline warships of the Western Fleet, the INS Vikramaditya travelled at a speed of 30 knots to reach the north Karnataka port. The aircraft carrier, however, would not be operational immediately as naval aviators flying MiG-29K fighters will have to perfect taking off from the decks of the new carrier and touching down using the arrester wire technology.

Sea Harrier jumping jets operating from the existing carrier INS Viraat use a different technology to land on the decks. The carrier-borne supersonic fighters arrived India in 2010 well ahead of the mother ship and were commissioned in May 2013 in the Navy’s 303 Squadron.

Though the pilots flying MiG-29K were trained in Russia, they would now perfect the technique by flying extensively into and from the carrier.

The top deck of the 44,500-tonne carrier is as big as three football fields put together. The ship has 22 decks and more than 1,600 personnel are on duty on board. The floating city requires nearly a lakh of eggs, 20,000 litres of milk and 16 tonnes of rice per month.

With full stock, the carrier can be at sea continuously for 45 days and is capable of undertaking operations up to a range of over 7,000 nautical miles or 13,000 km. The MiG-29K fighters will fly from the indigenous aircraft carrier the Vikrant, which is under construction at Kochi.

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