Indigenous aircraft carrier to be ready by 2018: Navy chief

New Delhi: Indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant would be ready by 2018, Navy chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan said on Thursday.

"The indigenous aircraft carrier will be ready by 2018," Dhowan told reporters after the conclusion of the Naval Commanders' Conference here.

INS Vikrant, a 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier, is under construction at the Cochin Shipyard.

It is the first aircraft carrier to be designed by the Directorate of Naval Design of the Indian Navy.

At present, India has two aircraft carriers. INS Viraat, a British-built ship, was first launched into the sea in 1953, and commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1987. It is expected to be decommissioned in 2016.

The second ship, INS Vikramaditya, is a modified Russian Kiev-class aircraft carrier.

The proposal for a second indigenous aircraft carrier has meanwhile been given a go-ahead, with the government approving Rs.30 crore for preparations for building the carrier.

Asked about the induction of nuclear submarine Arihant, which is undergoing sea trials, the Navy chief said he could not give any timeline.

"Trials are on for Arihant...can't put a timeline to it," Dhowan said, adding that he has "no idea" about a second nuclear submarine being planned by India.

He also said that first of the Scorpene submarines would be inducted into the Indian Navy in 2016.

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