The Defence Secretary and the head of Empowered Apex Committee (EAC), Ajay Kumar reviewed the progress of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-P71) project at the Cochin Shipyard Limited. The review critically examined the current status of the project. Post the review it was discovered that IAC is in a very advanced stage of construction and is scheduled to commence Basin Trials in early 2020 followed by the Sea Trials in mid-2020.
As per the Press Information Bureau (PIB), this assessment was the 13th EAC review meeting of the Project and the first to be held after the signing of the Phase-III of the IAC Contract on 31 Oct 2019 between Government of India, Ministry of Defence & Cochin Shipyard Limited. The Defence Secretary was accompanied by Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of Naval Staff and Vice Admiral GS Pabby.
Others present at the assessment were Chief of Materiel, Vice Admiral SR Sarma, Controller Warship Production & Acquisition from IHQ MoD (Navy) and other senior officers from IHQ MoD (Navy), Warship Overseeing Team and Carrier Acceptance and Trials Team.
After the review meeting, it was revealed that the IAC construction is in an advanced state and all four Gas Turbines, main engines having been started. Also, the Power Generation Systems comprising of eight Diesel Alternators are ready and trials of ship’s major systems and auxiliary equipment are also in progress. IAC had successfully completed the Pre-Contractors Sea Trials dry dock work package in Dec 2019.
The Basin trials are conducted for proving of the propulsion, transmission and shafting systems and is scheduled in early half of 2020. The Aircraft Carrier would be ready to commence the Sea Trials once the Basin trials are successfully completed. Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on December 3 had said that the IAC will be fully operational by 2022 and it will have a fleet of MiG-29K aircraft.