Indian Navy's indigenously-built aircraft carrier would be launched on August 12 this year, while INS Vikramaditya (purchased from Russia) will arrive before the end of 2013, Union defence minister AK Antony said in Panaji on Saturday.
"INS Vikramaditya is going to be a reality, as promised the ship would be delivered before the end of this year," Antony told reporters after the commissioning of fighter aircraft MiG29K into Navy at INS Hansa in Panaji.
"While on one side Vikramaditya is coming this year, on August 12 we are going to launch indigenous aircraft carrier at Cochin," he said, without elaborating further. Asserting that the country was giving a thrust to modernisation of defence forces, Antony said, "Navy modernisation is one area where we are going fast-paced now."
"Almost all the navies of important countries want close cooperation with the Indian Navy," he said, adding that "Indian Navy is well-prepared, most modern and (one of) the most capable navies of the world."
"(Over) Last many years, there has been well-planned induction wherein we are replacing old platforms and adding new ones," he said.