INS Vikrant


Source : Google photo of INS Vikrant of the Indian Navy

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Synopsis: All countries need to have the ability to protect itself from its enemies, so India is no exception. With its 7000 kms of shoreline, its navy faces special challenges to safeguard the country from sea invaders. Now a modern warship INS Vikrant designed and made in India joins the Navy to bolster its ability in projecting it’s power anywhere.

On September 2, 2022, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kochi to induct the most powerful war ship called the beast of the sea INS Vikrant into the Indian Navy that was built at the Kochi shipyard and equipped there with the latest state of the art defensive and offensive weaponry. The launching of the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in the Arabian Sea has made the world news because of its sheer size and its modern weaponry that has greatly disturbed India’s enemies.

India is now in the elite group of few nations that can build aircraft carriers and put it to sea with their formidable defensive and offensive abilities. It can project the might of the Indian Navy anywhere in the world when needed with the ability to put fear into its enemies. Often this fear alone of such an immense warship that can cause terrible damage to the enemy morale in the sea or land prevents war. Its utter destructive power persuades them to leave the battlefield.

India has over 7000 kms of shoreline that face the Arabian Sea in the West, the Indian Ocean in the South and the Bay of Bengal in the East that need to be protected at all times so India needed a second carrier like Vikrant to give the Indian Navy more power and capability to protect the country.

What the world saw for the first time was the ability of India to build a complex war ship like INS Vikrant that was designed by the Indian naval engineers and architects and built by the workers of the Kochi shipyard. It is the largest of the ships in the navy and proudly shows the flag of India and the emblem resembling the war ships of Shivaji that fought and repelled the enemies in the 15th century.

The Cross of St. George was removed from the flag that was a relic of the British Navy to usher in the new era of the dominance of the seas by India now and announcing to the world of the arrival of India with its powerful Navy, Army and the Air force to protect the country all the time. The Indian navy is now a strong navy with its frigates, destroyers, aircraft carriers, helicopter carriers and most lethal of them all the nuclear submarines that are equipped with nuclear tipped missiles. This armada is unbelievably powerful that the enemies of India are mortally afraid of. China and Pakistan have plenty of reasons to be very worried.

The keel of the carrier Vikrant was laid a long time ago, but it suffered the hurdles the bureaucracy placed on its construction, poor will of the previous governments that failed to allocate the funding necessary to build such a mammoth ship, so the skeleton of the ship languished in the shipyard for years until Mr. Modi became the Prime Minister of the country in 2014.

From then on the work on the ship was speeded up, all hurdles removed and the completion was prioritized by his government. It became one of Mr. Modi’s dream projects when he determined that such a warship must be built as soon as possible to give the Navy the ships it needs. Now many new ships and submarines are under construction that will soon augment the power of the Indian Navy to fight any war in the seas that surround India on its three sides.

An air craft carrier is not just a war ship that carries fighter jets, helicopters and other types of aircrafts for surveillance. It is a floating city that generates its own power and carries all the things its soldiers need like food, water, weapons, ammunitions, fuel for its massive engines etc. that allows it to remain at sea for a prolonged time and travel to any part of the world where it is needed. It has a very modern very well equipped hospital that can treat any kind of injury during an actual conflict.

Source : U Tube video of INS Vikrant ,the pride of Indian navy

It carries surface to air missiles, powerful guns that can bombard a target 40 kms away with pin point accuracy, track and target any underwater enemy submarine or other enemy ships and communicates with the Naval Command via satellite based system through encryption. In short a carrier like Vikrant is built to put fear into the heart of India’s enemies because it is a fearful floating war machine.

Source : U Tube video on INS Vikrant inside look

This type of carrier is equipped with the latest naval technology for self-defense and damage control in case of accidental fire on board during a sea battle. It is always flanked by several destroyers and a very lethal nuclear powered submarine below that is equipped with ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear weapons. So it is called a Carrier Group that projects power wherever it goes.

During the war with Pakistan in 1971, such a group of war ships effectively blockaded the Karachi port so no Pakistani war ships could venture out to fight with the Indian army that had sent its army, navy and air force to liberate East Pakistan that later came to be known as Bangladesh. Indian navy destroyed the Pakistani submarine en route to East Pakistan near Vishkhapatnam that sank with all its crews.

Recently the Indian navy placed its nuclear capable submarine with its lethal ballistic missiles near Karachi to put pressure on the Pakistan Army to release Wing Commander Avinandan within 24 hours of his capture after his MiG 21 fighter plane was shot down over Pakistan. This is the power of the Indian Navy and its carriers and destroyers. Mr. Modi demanded his release without any pre conditions so Commander Avinandan was released fearing the consequences of not releasing him.

Only a few countries can project such power anywhere in the world. USA. China, France , Russia ,England and Italy have aircraft carriers and now it is India that has joined this elite group of nations that can build carriers and equip them with the latest weapons .

Narendra Modi has declared that India will develop and build its fighter planes, missiles, tanks and carriers with the help of the finest engineers and scientists so that the country will not import such hardware. The made in India Tejas fighter plane is already in service. Many countries want to include it in their air force. The hypersonic missiles, the Brahmos missile and numerous other types of short and long range missiles are being made in India that have won world acclaim.

This will make India independent of other arms producing countries and save the money it used to spend on such purchases in the past. India still buys some fighter planes like Rafale from France and the powerful S-400 missile system from Russia but aims to reduce such imports in the future by developing its own offensive and defensive weapons.

India has developed its own GPS system and placed a number of communication satellites in space to meet its military communication needs with complete encryptions. Its satellites keep an eye on the enemy countries 24 hours a day to know their movements. Now all the services like Army, Navy, Air Force and other arms of the military work in complete sync with maximum coordination during conflict so a Chief of the Defense Staff ( CDS ) will now be responsible for it.

What Mr. Narendra Modi has achieved in only 8 years to modernize the defense forces is unprecedented. Now women are integrated into all branches of armed services for the first time in Independent India although it was Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose who formed the first female brigade in his Indian national Army ( INA ) that fought the British tooth and nail to make the British leave India in 1947. It was called Rani Laksmibai brigade.

Source: U Tube video of the awesome INS Vikrant

With the INS Vikrant in the Navy, a demand for more carriers like Vikrant will rise so that the Navy becomes more powerful to protect the country better. The confidence the ship builders have now achieved by building Vikrant will surely make it easy for the construction of the next carrier. I wish that the next carrier will be named Netaji Bose who is a national hero.

To achieve it they will need the total support of the Modi government that has to remain in power by winning the next election due in 2024.

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