Integration of aircraft with INS Vikrant likely by May-June next year: Navy chief
He was speaking to reporters after reviewing the Passing Out Parade of the 143rd course of the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakwasla in Pune
The integration of aircraft with the newly commissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is likely to be accomplished by May or June next year, said Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar on Wednesday.
He was speaking to reporters after reviewing the Passing Out Parade of the 143rd course of the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakwasla in Pune.
According to Admiral Hari Kumar, the sea-going trials are already over after which the carrier was commissioned. Now, the aircraft integration trials have started.
“The first thing we need to check is about the aircraft landing system. The trials are going on. Normally, the integration of aircraft takes anytime between six to eight months from the commissioning of the aircraft. We hope to accomplish it by May or June before the monsoon,” he said.
Speaking about first batch of women cadets being inducted recently in the NDA, the Admiral said, “Our forces are gender neutral. Women are already doing combat services. There are women officers in the forces, including Navy.”
The Navy has started inducting women sailors as well which is a landmark achievement, he said.
“This year, we had 3,000 vacancies for sailors for which we received 10 lakh applications, including 82,000 from women,” the Navy chief said.
Asked about the Navy’s modernisation plan, Admiral Kumar said, “The Indian Navy is on a modernisation programme. Our first small ship was commissioned indigenously in 1960. Since then, we are building ships bigger and bigger. After this, we started building destroyers, culminators and aircraft carriers. Incidentally, the (latest) aircraft carrier is 76 per cent indigenous, so it’s a great achievement for the nation.”
In the last seven years, 29 ships and submarines built in India have been commissioned, he said.
“We have 45 ships under construction of which 43 are built in India. We are processing the acceptance of necessity for another 49 ships. Thus, there’s much focus on modernisation plan and the government is supporting us. The work is in progress as expected,” he said.
Asked about the budget for the Indian Navy, he said, “There’s no problem of budget. There is adequate budgetary support from the government to support all the programmes which we are taking forward.”
The 143rd Course was inducted in December 2019 and after completion of three years of rigorous military training the cadets passed out in a ceremonial event. The Passing Out Parade of 143rd Course was conducted at Khetarpal Parade Ground, NDA.
A total of 1,065 cadets participated in the parade of which 300 cadets were from the passing out course. This included 207 Army cadets, 39 Naval cadets and 54 Air Force cadets comprising 19 cadets from friendly foreign countries (Bhutan, Tajikistan, Maldives, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Mongolia and Bangladesh). The cadets will hereafter join their respective pre-commissioning training academics.