12Dec2017Headlines:

INS Vikramaditya: New Era In Sea Combat

You must have heard of refurbished cars, refurbished mobiles or something but have you ever heard of refurbished ships, that too a major warship. Well I am not talking about any toy ship but a real massive and the latest Naval Warship of the Indian Navy – The INS Vikramaditya.

INS Vikramaditya

INS Vikramaditya

Refurbished = Old/Outdated?..NO!!

Before going further, let me make one thing very clear that the word “refurbish” should not be taken in a negative sense thereby meaning and old and outdated technology ship is soon to be deployed for safeguarding the sea frontiers of a nation surrounded by multiple waterfronts. Rather this is an example of using a ship and overhauling it completely to make one of the biggest aircraft carriers the Indian Navy has ever used.

The Delay

INS Vikramaditya

INS Vikramaditya

Of course such massive projects do come with few hiccups and delays and INS Vikramaditya is no exception. The idea took shape as long back as the year 2004 when the Russian ship Gorshkov was selected and chosen to be converted into the current INS Vikramaditya.

Why Refurbish

One of the main reasons of choosing to refurbish a ship rather than ordering a brand new one was to save substantial costs as the initial figures estimated the price of this massive ship to be only around $974 million. Of course later on the costs were renegotiated since the ship which undertook the responsibility, namely Semash shipyard, later on said that the costs were underestimated and the ship require major overhauls which were overlooked earlier such as the total change of electrical wiring and so forth.

The Final Cost

Finally the price of the ship was elevated to $2.34 billion and the first sea trials were held in 2012 which seemed to go pretty well except for some flaws which were found in boiler overheating as a result of failed insulation. This delayed the final delivery and the insulation was again changed to asbestos and now the ship is expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy towards the end of 2013, most likely in the month of November.

Features/Specifications

INS Vikramaditya is a steam propelled vessel with a displacement of 45 thousand tonnes and can achieve a top speed of 30 Knots. If you are not aware of what exactly is a knot, it is a measure of speed normally used for water crafts and is approximately equal to the unit of miles per hour used on land though not exactly equal to it.

The ship will consist of Mig29K fighter aircrafts and KA28/31 choppers which will aid the operation of the vessel, apart from having anti-ship, anti-submarine and different types of missiles for self defense and attack purposes.

The Name

Even though there might not be much in a name, yet for ships, especially a modern warship of this category, the name does carry a lot of meaning and infact ships have special naming ceremonies in their honour.

This ship has been named after the great king Vikramaditya who lived long back, though we would study his history in detail separately.

The Future

As per the current estimates, the ship is all set to surpass its contractual life of 20 years. An average ship is expected to be sailworthy for at least a quarter of a century after its construction but experts believe that if timely repairs and drydocks are carried out, a ship’s life could be elongated to as much as 4 decades. As per the contract between the Navy and the shipyard, this ship is expected to be around for at least two decades but most likely it will outlast that.

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