Monday 25 May 2020, 12:22 PM
Aircraft carrier Vikramaditya is now fully operational
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 5/7/2014 12:00:00 AM

New Delhi: India today announced that its sea-borne aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is now fully operational and integrated with the western Naval fleet based at Mumbai.

 
The 44,500 tonne Russian origin carrier that has a fleet of the twin engine MiG 29-K fighters on its deck, is based at Karwar, south of Goa on India’s western sea board.
 
Chief of the Indian Navy, Admiral Robin Dhowan today made the announcement at Kochi, in Kerala. “INS Vikramaditya is operationally deployed with MiG 29-Ks integrated with the carrier,” Admiral Dhowan said.
 
Explaining this, officials said, this means the pilots are now trained for on-deck landing and takes-off – one of the most complex aviation procedures to land a fighter jet on the deck on moving ship. The warship has a system called the  ‘Resistor-E’ which guides the fighter jet in autopilot mode and makes it reach just 30 meters away from the warship, thence the pilot takes over for a final landing — all the while maintaining total radio silence. It will be the first-ever such facility onboard an Indian naval warship.
Admiral R.K. Dhowan
 
The ‘Resistor-E’ is a microwave landing system and precision approach radar and beacon.  It’s like an instrument-aided landing system (ILS) installed at airports, which allow operations in all-weather conditions. Loaded with an array of sensors, radars, communication aids and on-deck fighter planes equipped with state-of-the-art missiles, the Vikramaditya is capable of detecting threats within 500 km of air space. The fighter jets will widen the arc of dominance with an ability to hit at targets in air, on land and on the sea surface while Kamov-28 and Kamov -31 helicopters specialising in anti-submarine warfare will pick out under-sea threats.
 
The heart of the operational network that works the warship’s combat systems is called ‘LESORUB-E’. It gathers data from the ship’s sensors, radars and data links, including imagery available from the fighter jets, helicopters, UAV’s and the naval satellite launched in August last year, to provide the commanders a comprehensive tactical picture and then take a decision.
 
INS Vikramditya will augment the Navy’s stated blue-water aspirations and a role in protection of sea lines of communication (SLOCs) passing through the Indian Ocean and  will be the second carrier after ageing re-fitted INS Viraat.
 
The warship, costing  US $ 2.35 billion, arrived in India in December last year, almost five years after its original delivery deadline of December 2008. Russia had offered the warship to India in 1995 with the clause that New Delhi was to pay for the refit.
 
Aircraft carriers have been part of the Indian Navy’s force structure since 1961, when the first one arrived from United Kingdom. The INS Vikrant was used for 36 years before being retired in 1997. The second one, INS Viraat, arrived in 1987, again from the U.K., and is still serving with the Navy, with Sea Harriers based on the deck.           
 
With a top speed of 32 knots and an endurance of 25,000 kilometers [13,500 nautical miles] at a cruising speed of 18 knots, the Vikramaditya is 283 meters [928 feet] long with a beam of 51 meters [167 feet] and a draught of 10.2 meters [33 feet]. The ship has four shaft-geared steam turbine engines.

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Aircraft carrier Vikramaditya is now fully operational

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