India on Saturday joined an elite club of nations capable of building large warships, with the keeling of the indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) at the Cochin Shipyard in Kochi.
Defence Minister A K Antony pressed a remote following which the keel was placed in the building dock of the shipyard.
"This indigenous warship of the Navy will showcase India's technical prowess and warship building capabilities to the world," he said, adding "IAC will be the largest ever warship to be built in India".
Apart from India, only the US, France and Russia have the capability to build warships of 40,000 tonnage capacity.
Started in 2002 with the designing of the IAC, the project gained steam in 2006 when the construction of the warship building blocks began.