Kochi: Indian defence minister AK Antony will Saturday lay the keel of the country's first indigenous aircraft carrier at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) here. The event will mark the crossing of a historic milestone for the country's shipbuilding and design capabilities.
With a displacement of approximately 40,000 tonnes, the carrier will also be the first naval vessel to be constructed at the CSL. The ship will be launched in 2010 and is scheduled for delivery to the Indian Navy by 2012.
In a press release issued here Friday CSL said it had been selected for the challenging project based on its technical expertise, inherent strength in detailed engineering, capacity to innovate, reputation for on time delivery and modern infrastructure.
Steel cutting for the project commenced at the yard in April 2005 and keel-laying is now taking place on schedule. The design of the ship was cleared in January 2003.
The ship is 260 metres long and 60 metres wide and will be propelled by two LM2500 gas turbines that will enable it attain speeds in excess of 28 knots.
The carrier has two runways and a landing strip equipped with three arrester wires. It will carry a maximum of 30 aircraft and has adequate hangar capacity.
The design of ship was undertaken by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) which over a period of 40 years has successfully designed 17 different classes of warships.