The Navy’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), which is being built at the Cochin Shipyard, will be launched on August 12 - almost three years after its initial deadline. The IAC will be launched at a ceremony attended by Defence Minister Mr A K Antony and other top officials. “The aircraft carrier will be launched this August. Then it will be taken to the repair yard for hull construction, which is expected to be over by June 2014. The remaining tasks including tests and installations will follow,” said Commodore Mr K Subramaniam, Chairman and Managing Director, Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). The aircraft carrier is expected to be handed over to the Navy for induction by January 2018, officials said. As per the original plan during its keel lying in February 2009, the carrier was to be launched by 2010 and commissioned by 2014. CSL officials pointed out that it’s the first time that the shipyard was constructing a warship. “The specifications for commercial vessels and warships are different. There are only a few yards in the country where both commercial vessels and warships are constructed,” the CMD said. Officials said, negotiations with the Navy, regarding the second phase of the aircraft carrier, are complete and the contract will be signed after getting the Cabinet approval. The carrier’s design is going on concurrently with the construction; hence the yard is hopeful of delivering the vessel by 2018, the officials pointed out.
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