Kochi :25/6/21: Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviewed the progress of construction of first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Ltd., at Kochi on June 25, 2021. Shri Rajnath Singh was accompanied by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral AK Chawla. The Raksha Mantri visited the construction site and was briefed about the successful Basin Trials completed during November 2020. He was also appraised of the progress achieved on integration of a number of other navigational, communication and operational systems since then, as it prepares for its maiden Contractor Sea Trials (CST) which is expected in the forthcoming months.
The IAC would be commissioned as INS Vikrant in the first half of 2022, which would be the most potent sea-based asset. The ship shall operate MiG-29K fighter aircraft, Kamov-31 Air Early Warning Helicopters, the soon to be inducted MH-60R multi-role helicopter and the indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters. It would offer an incomparable military instrument with its ability to project Air Power over long distances, including Air Interdiction, Anti-Surface Warfare, offensive and defensive Counter-Air, Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare and Airborne Early Warning.
During the visit, an exhibition showcasing Indian Navy’s various ongoing innovations, indigenisation and operations aligning with the nation’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was also organised for the Raksha Mantri. The major exhibits included the Oxygen Recycling System (ORS), which is currently under clinical trials at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology; Navrakshak PPE and masks currently being used in PM CARES Hospitals; Remote Patient Monitoring System and several such other innovations which had provided affordable, effective and user-friendly medical solutions. The Raksha Mantri was also apprised about the assistance rendered to civil agencies such as the Fire Safety Audit of hospitals and specialised training on PSA Oxygen Plants in addition to an overview of the Samudra Setu II and Oxygen Express Operations. The Raksha Mantri also interacted with 10-year-old Veer Kashyap, a student of Navy Children School Kochi, who had won the Pradhan Mantri Bal Puraskar 2021 for developing an innovative board game ‘Corona Yuga’ for educating and creating awareness about the pandemic among the public at large.
The Raksha Mantri lauded Indian Navy for its contribution in the fight against COVID-19 – from bringing back Indian citizens from overseas during Operation Samudra Setu I and ferrying in Liquid Medical Oxygen from abroad during Operation Samudra Setu lI – despite the danger of spread of the virus onboard warships. He also commended the Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts by Navy during Cyclone Tauktae and Cyclone Yaas.
On June 24, 2021, Shri Rajnath Singh had visited the Karwar Naval Base and reviewed the progress of ongoing infrastructure development under ‘Project Seabird’, as part of his two-day visit to the Southern Naval Command.