On Wednesday, India unveiled its first ever aircraft carrier at Cochin Shipyard as it undocked following the years-long completion of its structural build. This is the first massive milestone on the road to having an Indian-built carrier, which will official set sail at the end of 2018.
Officials at the shipyard started flooding the ballast containers and preparing the ship to float on Monday morning. After the INS Vikrant was afloat in around 25 feet of water, the carrier was taxied out of the docks by a handful of tugboats.
For the next year and a half, the vessel will continue to be outfitted with military applications and issued for sea trials ahead of its official completion date. One official stated nearly 90 percent of the construction under the fourth deck is done, and work on piping, wiring, heating and cooling, and installing the Russian-designed navigation system will begin shortly.
The undocking of the INS Vikrant is the second stage of construction on the ship, which is expected to be finished by 2017. Afterwards, the sea trials will begin before it is finally commissioned in 2018, and used to bolster India’s military.
By Alex Lemieux
The Hindu: Cochin Shipyard undocks INS Vikrant
Photo Courtesy of Royal Navy Media Archive’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License