1 February 2009
PRESS BRIEF - Cochin Shipyard lays the keel of the first INDIGENOUS AIRCRAFT CARRIER (IAC)
1. The keel of the First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier for the Indian Navy is scheduled to be laid on Saturday, 28 Feb 2009 at 1100 hrs. The keel will be laid by Shri A K Antony, Hon'ble Raksha Mantri at Cochin Shipyard in the presence of Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy. Senior Politicians, Senior Naval Officers and dignitaries were present. Shri M Jitendran, CMD, CSL welcomed the gathering.
2. In partnership with Indian Navy, CSL would be one among the few shipyards of the world to have attempted to construct the Aircraft Carrier. This is indeed a proud moment in the history of Cochin Shipyard. For the yard, which has wide experience in commercial building of all varieties of ships, this is the first project in Warship construction. CSL was selected for this challenging project based on its technical expertise, inherent strength in detailed engineering, capacity to innovate, reputation for ontime delivery and modern infrastructure. The yard commenced the steel cutting for this project in April 2005 and has achieved the keel laying as per schedule.
3. The design and construction of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier was sanctioned by the Govt. of India in Jan 2003. This is the most prestigious project, which the Indian Navy has taken up so far. The design and construction of this ship is a technical complexity whose dimensions far outstrip any such challenge faced hitherto by the Indian Naval Designers. With this project, India joins the select club of 40,000 T plus aircraft carrier designers and builders. Indigenous Aircraft Carrier designed by Navy's Design Organisation and being built at M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited would be capable of operating an aircraft mix of Russian MiG-29K, Ka31 and indigenous LCA.
4.The ship has a length of 260 m and max breadth of 60 m. The ship will be propelled by two shafts, each coupled to two LM2500 Gas Turbines developing a total power of 80 MW, sufficient to attain speeds in excess of 28 knots. The ship has an endurance of around 8,000 NM and complement of 1600. The ship will have two takeoff runways and a landing strip with 3 arrester wires. It can carry a maximum of 30 aircraft with adequate hangarage capacity. The carrier is designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation and survivability.
5. Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR SAM) system with Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and Close In Weapon System (CIWS) is envisaged for the carrier. The ship will be equipped with the most modern C/D band early Air Warning Radar, V/UHF Tactical Air Navigational and Direction Finding systems. The carrier would also be having jamming capabilities over the expected Electro Magnetic (EM) environment, along with Carrier Control Approach Radars to aid air operations. Integration of all weapon systems onboard the carrier would be through an indigenous Combat Management System (CMS).The ship's integration with Navy's Network Centric Operations would provide forced multiplication.
6.Design of this prestigious ship has been undertaken by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) which has an experience of over 40 years in successfully designing 17 different classes of warships, to which around 90 ships have already been built within the country. It is also pertinent to mention that DND is the only Govt. organisation in the world today undertaking indigenous design of warships. Delhi class destroyers are the biggest warships built so far to indigenous design. These ships are operating successfully over last 10 years and have demonstrated their design superiority when INS Delhi withstood extremely adverse weather conditions and high sea states while encountering typhoons during the ship's passage in the South China sea in 1995.
7.The production of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier commenced in Nov 06 and large number of blocks have already been fabricated, which are under erection. Major equipment to be installed in lower decks of the ship have been ordered. The ship is being constructed using high strength steel developed in-house with the help of DRDO and SAIL.
8.In order to optimize on build period of IAC, Ministry of Defence advanced to CSL approx Rs 200 Crores to augment infrastructure in areas such as large cranes, workshops, heavy duty machinery etc. Separately, the Ministry of Shipping through planning commission gave sanction of Rs. 98.63 crores for creation of a small ship division in CSL so that commercial shipbuilding can be continued during the pendency of the IAC Project. This is 50% complete and balance will be commissioned this year whereby CSL will have parallel product mix.
9.The ship construction is planned in 02 phases. 1st phase covers work upto first launch in end 2010. 2nd phase would cover all balance work till delivery of the ship to the Navy in end 2014.Assistance for propulsion system integration and aviation aspects have been taken from M/s Fincantieri of Italy and M/s NDB of Russia respectively.
10.In its quest to grow into an international shipyard of repute the yard increased its product line to include double hull bulk carriers and later Platform Supply Vessels and Anchor Handlers. Diesel electric propulsion is now being introduced in these hi tech ships. More than 24 Ships have been delivered to foreign owners in the last four years.The yard posted an all time high net profit after tax of Rs 93 crores for the year 2007-08 on a record income of Rs 967 crores. Performance of the company for the year 2007-08 under the MOU signed with GOI was rated as "Excellent". The company was conferred with the category I "Miniratna" status in July 2008. The company is hoping to keep up the performance levels this year too, despite the global melt down.
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