New Delhi: India's first indigenous aircraft carrier will be ready in two years, taking to the waters by 2011, Indian Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta said Wednesday.
"Our indigenous aircraft carrier is being constructed in Kochi. It has been three years since the work started. On Feb 28, what we call keel laying of the carrier will take place," Adm. Mehta told reporters here.
The building of a ship can be divided into seven phases: design, construction planning, work prior to keel laying, ship erection, launching, final outfitting, and sea trials.
"Many of the parts have already been constructed. My estimate is that it should be in the water in two years," Adm Mehta said.
The under-construction aircraft carrier is expected to be around 38,000 tonne in displacement capacity and to cost the exchequer an estimated Rs3,000 crore (Rs30 billion).
The Indian Navy is currently operating an old UK-built aircraft carrier, the INS Viraat, even as it awaits delivery of a refurbished Russian 48,500 tonnes aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (Adm Gorshkov). The navy has plans to operate three aircraft carriers by 2015 in its bid to become a true blue-water navy.