Kerala: Defence minister Rajnath Singh arrived at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi, on his maiden visit to the command headquarters on Friday morning.
He reviewed the progress of construction of the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Ltd., at Kochi. 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.
He visited the construction site and was briefed about the successful Basin Trials completed during November 2020. He was also apprised of the progress achieved on the 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.
Singh 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.