Aircraft Carrier Of The Indian Navy INS Vikramaditya

The Indian Navy’s pride and glory, known for its immense strength and prowess on the high seas, is the Aircraft Carrier Of The Indian Navy INS Vikramaditya. It is a symbol of India’s maritime power and capabilities. Commissioned in 2013, this formidable warship is a versatile platform for air operations, capable of carrying a mix of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

With a displacement of over 45,000 tons, INS Vikramaditya is one of the largest and most advanced aircraft carriers in Asia and serves as a critical asset for India’s maritime security.

Pinterest / Open-source illustrative image
Pinterest / Open-source illustrative image / MiG-29K

INS Vikramaditya stands as a testament to India’s ambitions in the maritime domain. This colossal warship is equipped with state-of-the-art sensors, weapons systems, and a sophisticated combat management system, enabling it to execute diverse missions, such as air defence, anti-submarine warfare, and strike operations. Manned by a highly trained and skilled crew of over 1,600 personnel, the INS Vikramaditya operates smoothly and efficiently, ensuring seamless coordination with its complement of aircraft. Undoubtedly, the INS Vikramaditya serves as a true force multiplier for the Indian Navy, further cementing India’s position as a significant player in the maritime realm.

Photo Credit: Indian Navy / Aircraft Carrier Of The Indian Navy INS Vikramaditya
Photo Credit: Indian Navy / Aircraft Carrier Of The Indian Navy INS Vikramaditya

The sole survivor among four Kiev-class ships, this vessel was initially commissioned in 1987 for the Soviet Navy and later served with the Russian Navy under the name Admiral Gorshkov until 1996. Following its decommissioning by Russia, India expressed interest in acquiring it on January 20, 2004. After years of negotiations, a final arms sales price of $2.35 billion was agreed upon for the purchase.

The Indian Navy, it got commissioned on 16th Nov 2013 at Severodvinsk, Russia. On 14th June 2014, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Damodar Modi, officially inducted this aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya into the Indian Navy and committed her to the nation. With the Motto of ” Strike Far, Strike Sure”.

The INS Vikramaditya is 284 meters long and 60 meters wide, with a displacement of over 45,000 tons. It is equipped with a range of weapons and sensors, including surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, and a variety of guns and decoy systems. The ship is also equipped with an advanced combat management system that allows it to coordinate the activities of its aircraft and other weapons systems.

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The INS Vikramaditya is a significant asset for the Indian Navy, providing it with a powerful and versatile platform for air operations and power projection. Its advanced weapons systems and sensors, coupled with its ability to carry a large complement of aircraft, make it a formidable force in the Indian Ocean region. The INS Vikramaditya is also a symbol of India’s growing naval power and its ambition to become a major player in the maritime domain.

Photo Credit: Indian Navy / Aircraft Carrier Of The Indian Navy INS Vikramaditya
Photo Credit: Indian Navy

History Of INS Vikramaditya

The Soviet Navy’s Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier was originally built in the 1970s as part of the Kiev class of aircraft carriers. It was named after Soviet Admiral Sergei Gorshkov, who was instrumental in the development of the Soviet Navy during the Cold War. Admiral Gorshkov was commissioned in 1987 and served with the Soviet Navy until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

After the Soviet Union dissolved, Admiral Gorshkov was decommissioned and eventually put up for sale. India saw an opportunity to acquire a modern aircraft carrier to replace its ageing INS Viraat, and in 2004, the Indian government signed a contract with Russia for the purchase and modernization of Admiral Gorshkov.

The modernization process, which was carried out at the Sevmash Shipyard in Russia, was plagued by numerous delays and cost overruns, leading to tensions between India and Russia. The project was also complicated by the fact that the carrier had to be modified to meet Indian Navy requirements, including the installation of a new ski-jump ramp for launching aircraft and a new combat management system.

Photo Credit: Indian Navy / Aircraft Carrier Of The Indian Navy INS Vikramaditya
Photo Credit: Indian Navy / A MiG-29K is onboard the carrier, taking off with full afterburner

Despite the challenges, the modernization of Admiral Gorshkov was completed in 2013, and the carrier was formally handed over to the Indian Navy in a ceremony held at Severodvinsk, Russia. The carrier was then renamed INS Vikramaditya, after a legendary king in Indian history.

Since entering service with the Indian Navy, INS Vikramaditya has been involved in numerous exercises and operations, including joint exercises with the US Navy, the French Navy, and other naval forces. It has also played a key role in India’s efforts to assert its influence in the Indian Ocean region and has been involved in various humanitarian and disaster relief missions.

Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography
Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography / LCA Navy version

Here Are A Few Of INS Vikramaditya’s Updated Design Elements

  1. Flight deck: The INS Vikramaditya has a new angled flight deck with a ski-jump ramp, which allows aircraft to take off at a steep angle, even with heavy loads. The flight deck is equipped with advanced aircraft handling equipment and can accommodate a mix of fixed-wing aircraft ( like MiG-29K, LCA Tejas ) and helicopters ( Like Dhruv, Ka-28 and Ka-31, and Sea King, MH-60R Romeo ).
  2. Propulsion system: The carrier’s original propulsion system was replaced with a modern gas turbine system ( Geared steam turbines ), which provides increased power and speed. The new propulsion system also allows for greater fuel efficiency, which extends the carrier’s range and endurance.
  3. Combat management system: The INS Vikramaditya has a new combat management system, which integrates all the ship’s sensors and weapons systems, and provides a common operating picture to the crew. This allows for more effective command and control of the ship and its aircraft.
  4. Weapons systems: The carrier is equipped with a range of weapons systems, including surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, and close-in weapons systems. It also has a sophisticated electronic warfare suite, which provides protection against enemy radar and other sensors.
  5. Aircraft: The air wing of INS Vikramaditya comprises a diverse fleet of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Among them are the MiG-29K fighter jets, the Kamov Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopters, the Sea King anti-submarine warfare helicopters, and the all-new MH-60R Romeo. Additionally, the indigenous LCA Navy Tejas will also operate as trainers on the carrier. Interestingly, a deal to acquire 26 Rafale M aircraft from France is in its final stages, and it is expected to be purchased for the navy within the year 2023, bolstering its strength significantly. All existing aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and advanced weapons systems, making them capable of executing various missions, including air defence, anti-submarine warfare, and strike operations.
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Photo Credit: Indian Navy / MH-60R Romeo
Photo Credit: Indian Navy / MH-60R Romeo

The Combat Systems Of INS Vikramaditya Include

  • Air defence systems: The INS Vikramaditya is equipped with the Barak-8 missile system, a highly capable surface-to-air missile system designed to intercept and neutralize incoming enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges of up to 70 km. This advanced system incorporates a sophisticated radar system and command and control equipment, delivering early warning and situational awareness to the ship’s crew.
  • Anti-ship systems: The carrier is equipped with the Kh-35 anti-ship missile system, which is capable of attacking surface ships at ranges of up to 300 km. The system includes a fire control radar and launchers, which allow the missiles to be fired from the carrier or from other ships in the carrier battle group.
Photo Credit: Indian Navy
Photo Credit: Indian Navy
  • Close-in weapons systems: The INS Vikramaditya is equipped with the AK-630 close-in weapons system, a highly effective rapid-fire, radar-guided gun system designed to provide a formidable defence against incoming missiles and aircraft at ranges of up to 4 km. This system enhances the carrier’s overall defensive capabilities, ensuring protection from close-in threats in critical situations.
  • Electronic warfare systems: The carrier is equipped with an electronic warfare suite, which includes radar warning receivers, electronic support measures, and electronic countermeasures. These systems provide protection against enemy radar and other sensors, and can also be used to jam enemy communications and radar signals. Along with Integrated Combat Management Systems.
Photo Credit: Indian Navy
Photo Credit: Indian Navy

INS Vikramaditya: Technical Specifications

  • It is a STOBAR ( short take-off, barrier-arrested recovery ) aircraft carrier
  • Built:  Nikolaev South Yard
  • Class:  Modified Kiev class aircraft carrier
  • Length:  249.5m/818ft ( at the waterline ); 283.2m/928ft 6in ( overall )
  • Beam:  61m/200ft 4in. Draught: 8.5m/27ft 10in ( standard ); 9.9m/32ft 6in ( full load )
  • Aircraft:  Max 36 aircraft ( 26 MIG 29K multirole combat aircraft, 10 Kamov KA-31 AEW&C, KA-28 ASW Helicopters
  • Flight Deck:  283.2 x 51m/ 928ft 6in x 167ft 2in ( 22 decks )
  • Armament (revised ):  4 x AK-630 CIWS, Barak 1 & 8 ( LRSAM ) in 48 VLS cells
  • Machinery:  Geared steam turbines, 8 boilers, 4 shafts
  • Power:  1,30,500kw/ 1,75,000shp
  • Speed:  32 knots
  • Fuel:  7,130 tonnes/ 7,000 tons
  • Range:  24,080km/13,000nm at 18 knots ( 33km/h )
  • Complement:  About 1,610 men ( including 110 officers )
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In conclusion, the INS Vikramaditya is a formidable aircraft carrier that symbolizes the Indian Navy’s commitment to safeguarding its maritime interests and projecting its power in the Indian Ocean region. With its advanced design, state-of-the-art combat systems, and versatile air wing, this carrier has the ability to engage and neutralize a wide range of threats.

The carrier’s history, from its origins as a Soviet-era vessel to its transformation into a modern and powerful warship, is a testament to the strength and resilience of the Indian Navy. As the flagship of the Indian Navy, the INS Vikramaditya represents a strategic asset that will continue to play a critical role in ensuring India’s security and protecting its national interests for many years to come.

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