Indigenous technology and out-of-the-box thinking has been the story behind India’s IAC
In its very first sea trial last August, INS Vikrant achieved the top speed of 28 knots, a rarity for a defence vessel its size and power anywhere in the world, yet, at a certain point, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) had been in real danger of being left high and dry. In nautical parlance, they call it ‘hull slaughtering’. The incident happened in the lead-up to the ship’s official launch in 2013. Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), the ship’s builders, wanted a functional launch, one that would see the 45,000-tonne leviathan slide effortlessly from dry dock into the water. But the Navy wanted the frills as well — what’s an aircraft carrier without its skijump (the curving, elevated portion of the flight deck used to launch fighter jets), they asked, and rightly so.
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