EZHIMALA (KANNUR): India’s first indigenous Aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, being built at public sector Cochin Shipyard Limited and formally launched in August this year, would be commissioned by 2017, chief of Naval Staff Admiral D K Joshi, said. “With the commissioning of INS Vikrant India will join an elite club of nations with the capability of designing and building aircraft carrier indigenously. There are not many countries in the world to construct their own aircraft carriers,” he said. Mr Joshi was speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the passing out parade at Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala in Kannur district. To a query on the delay in the project to build Scorpene submarines at Mumbai, Admiral Joshi said India would construct the navy’s first scorpene-class submarine with French collaboration and they should be in service by 2015 or so. “The delay has been resolved and construction work of the submarine is on fast track now,” he said. On maritime challenges, he said utmost priority was being given to coastal security after the 26/11 terror attack. Navy has been given overall coordination of maritime and coastal security involving several agencies, including Coast Guard. The infrastructure situation has also improved with coastal police stations acquiring patrol boats, fast interceptor boats and a radar chain has also been set up all along the coastline, he said. Admiral Joshi pointed out that the Navy had been fully engaged in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden for the past several years and added they had even sunk the ‘mother ship’ of Somali pirates who came near Lakshadweep islands.
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