The country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier will be commissioned by the Indian Navy by the end of 2018, said Rear Admiral Surendra Ahuja, assistant controller carrier project and assistant controller warship production and acquisition, Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy).
“The indigenous aircraft is currently being constructed in Cochin. It is expected to be delivered by the end of 2018,” Ahuja told reporters on the sidelines of the passing out parade of 87th helicopter course of INS Rajjali at Arakkonam, Vellore.
As many as 11 Navy and five Coast Guard pilots were honoured with wings on Friday. It would have the capacity to carry 30 aircrafts, fighter flights and helicopters, he said.
Also Read: What it takes to fly from INS Vikramaditya
The Indian Navy has sent a proposal to the central government, seeking its nod to build a bigger aircraft carrier, weighing 65,000 tonnes, with a capacity to carry 54 helicopters, fixed wing fighters and multi-role helicopters. “The proposal is currently with the government and is being actively considered. We are reasonably hopeful that we will get the approval very soon. It will be a game-changer,” he said.
He further said the Indian Navy envisaged procuring 57 more technology-based fighters. “The proposal is yet to reach the government. The Navy is doing the ground work for the 57 tech-based aircrafts,” he added.
The Navy has inducted eight P -8I (long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft) in INS Rajali, he said and added that four more would be inducted soon. “We have signed the contract recently. It will be soon delivered,” he said.
Of the contract signed with Russia for a total of 45 MiG – 29K aircrafts, the Navy had received 41 and the remaining four would be received within a month’s time said Ahuja. “Twelve Dorniers, eight Chetak helicopters, 16 advanced lightweight helicopters, 16 multi-role helicopters and many more on the anvil,” he added.
Earlier, speaking in the passing out parade, he said that the Navy and Coast Guard air arm have been expanding and were witnessing an unprecedented growth.