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‘An aircraft carrier carrying potent long range multi-role fighters is a platform inherently deigned for power projection. In as much as ‘Gorshkov’ was transformed to create ‘Vikramaditya’, so also Vikramaditya will transform the face of the Fleet Air Arm of the Indian Navy', says Captain PVS Satish, the spokesperson of Indian Navy. As the day of commissioning of INS Vikramaditya coming closer, Captain Satish face is beaming, who is actually the face of the Indian Navy.

 Literally a ‘floating City’ would be handed over to India, when the tri-colour will be hoisted atop the INSVikramaditya on November 16, 2013, in the presence of the Defence Minister AK Antony. 

With over 1,608 personnel on board, Vikramaditya, India’s second aircraft carrier and the largest ever vessel Indian Navy operated till now would embark its journey to India on the last day of November. With this large population on board, a mammoth logistics requirement will have to be catered for which include nearly a lakh of eggs, 20,000 litres of milk and 16 tonnes of rice per month. With full stock of provisions, INS Vikramaditya can sustain around 45 days at sea. With a capacity of over 8,000 tonnes of fuel the floating airfield is capable of operations up to a range of over 7,000 nautical miles or 13000 kms.

   The floating airfield has an overall length of about 284 meters and a maximum beam of about 60 meters, stretching as much as three football fields put together. Standing about 20 storeys tall from keel to the highest point, the sheer sight of this 44,500 tonnes mega structure of steel is awe inspiring. The ship has a total of 22 decks.

To enable this 44,500 tonnes floating steel city to cut through the choppy seas with speeds of up to 30 knots, Vikramaditya is powered by 08 new generation boilers of steam capacity of 100 TPH at a very high pressure of 64 bars, generating a total output power of 180,000 SHP. Vikramaditya in a new generation of boiler technology with a very high level of automation. These high pressure and highly efficient boilers power four enormous propellers, each greater in diameter than twice the height of an average male. Such a four propeller - four shaft configuration is another first in the Indian Navy.

The 06 turbo alternators and 06 diesel alternators onboard generate a total electricity of 18 megawatts to power various equipment of the ship, enough to cater to the lighting requirement of a mini city. The ship also houses 02 Reverse Osmosis plants providing an uninterrupted supply of 400 Tons per day of fresh water.

An extensive revamp of sensors including fitment of Long range Air Surveillance Radars, Advanced Electronic Warfare Suite makes the ship capable of maintaining a surveillance bubble of over 500 kms around the ship.

The ship has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft comprising an assortment of MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters. The MiG 29K swing role fighter is the main offensive platform and provides a quantum jump for the Indian Navy’s maritime strike capability. These fourth generation air superiority fighters provide a significant fillip for the Indian Navy with a range of over 700 nm (extendable to over 1,900 nm with inflight refueling) and an array of weapons including anti-ship missiles, Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles, guided bombs and rockets.

The ship is equipped with state of the art launch and recovery systems along with aids to enable smooth and efficient operation of ship borne aircraft. Major systems include the LUNA Landing system for MiGs, DAPS Landing system for Sea Harriers and Flight deck lighting systems.

The heart of the operational network that infuses life into the combat systems onboard the ship is the Computer aided Action Information Organisation (CAIO) system, LESORUB-E. LESORUB has the capability to gather data from ship’s sensors and data links and to process, collate and assemble comprehensive tactical pictures. This state of the art system has been specifically designed keeping in mind the essential requirement on the carrier for fighter control and direction.

One of the most prominent equipment fitted on the super structure is the Resistor-E radar complex. Resistor-E is the automated system designed for providing air traffic control, approach/landing and short range navigation for ship borne aircraft. This complex along with its various sub-systems provides navigation and flight data to ship borne aircraft operating at extended ranges from the mother ship. The precision approach guidance system aids the fighters on approach to be directed down to a distance of 30 meters short of flight deck. Vikramaditya also boasts of a very modern communication complex, CCS MK II, to meet her external communication requirement. Installation of Link II tactical data system allows her to be fully integrated with the Indian Navy’s network centric operations.

Once integrated, INS Vikramaditya will bring transformational capabilities to the Indian Navy and will be a ‘game changer’, the spokesperson said.

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