The first aircraft carrier built entirely in India, INS Vikrant, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on Friday at Cochin Shipyard in Kerala by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM gave Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj the honour of receiving the aircraft carrier.
According to the Prime Minister, “The Indian Navy’s flag has nonetheless carried the stigma of slavery. But starting today, the new Navy flag will fly in the sky and the sea, as a tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji.”
When India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1) was commissioned as Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant on Friday, a massive shipbuilding project that had been ongoing at Cochin Shipyard for the previous 13 years reached a significant milestone.
The commissioning event was held at the Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi on Friday morning, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over it. He also presented the new Naval Ensign, or Nishaan.
In his speech, Prime Minister Modi stated that “INS Vikrant has given the nation newfound confidence today. It represents India’s perseverance, creativity, impact, and dedication. It stands for the power, knowledge, and expertise of the native people. He stated that INS Vikrant would also be posting female officers, highlighting the growing importance of women in the armed services. He continued by saying that women are now being appointed to all ranks in the Navy.
Before the warship is completely operational, there are still a number of trials to be completed, particularly those of the Aviation Facility Complex. India joins a restricted group of countries that are capable of creating aircraft carriers thanks to INS Vikrant. The commissioning is considered as a boost to the current administration’s Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India programmes, which are focused on homegrown manufacturing and lowering reliance on imports. The Navy’s long-standing request for a second domestic carrier is also anticipated to gain momentum as a result.
IAC-1, now INS Vikrant, was built by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a public sector shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, and was designed by the Warship Design Bureau, formerly known as the Directorate of Naval Design, which is the Indian Navy’s in-house design organisation.
IAC-1 has adopted the name, motto, and pennant number R11 of India’s first aircraft carrier, which served for more than 35 years before being decommissioned in 1997. This carrier was instrumental in the war of 1971. The word “Vikrant” in Sanskrit means “courageous.” We overcome those who fight us, according to the Rigvedic mantra Jayema Sam Yudhi Sprudhah.
In January 2003, the government formally approved the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier’s (IAC) design and construction. The ship’s keel was laid in February 2009, and on August 12, 2013, it was launched. In November 2020, it conducted basin testing, and between August 4, 2021, and July 10, this year, it underwent sea testing. On July 28, the ship was handed over to the Navy.
The new Naval Ensign, or Nishaan, was also unveiled by Modi at the INS Vikrant’s commissioning ceremony. The government has declared that the removal of the former St. George’s Cross “does away with the colonial past and befits the rich Indian maritime legacy.”
The Indian Navy’s crest is currently shown on a navy blue background within an octagon that symbolises Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s royal seal or Mudra. PM Modi honoured Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by dedicating the brand-new flag. Speaking on the new ensign, he declared that India has “removed off its chest a load of colonial past and a symbol of servitude.”
Naval ships or formations fly the Naval Ensign as a show of nationality. The St. George’s Cross, which has a red cross on a white background, was the previous design for the Indian Naval Ensign. Since Indian Independence, the Indian Flag has been displayed in place of the Union Jack in one corner of the cross. Since India’s independence, the Indian Naval Ensign has undergone numerous alterations. Only in 2001 was the St. George’s Cross removed, and the Indian Navy’s crest was put to the ensign’s opposite corner. In 2004, the cross was reinstalled with the addition of the Indian Emblem at its intersection.
The three service chiefs, past Navy chiefs, active and retired naval commanders, flag officers, ambassadors, Union ministers, the National Security Advisor, and senior Kerala government officials were among the military and civil dignitaries who attended the occasion.