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DECEMBER 2013 ISSUE


Big and Beautiful
The 44,500 tonne INS Vikramaditya is the largest ship to be operated by the Navy
 


INS Vikramaditya

INS Vikramaditya, the floating airfield, has an overall length of about 284 metres and a maximum beam of about 60 metres, stretching as far as three football fields put together. Standing about 20 storeys tall from keel to the highest point, this massive 44,500 tonne ship will be the biggest ship that will be operated by the Indian Navy. The ship has a total of 22 decks.

Vikramaditya in its earlier avatar with the Russian Navy as the Kiev class aircraft carrying cruiser ‘Baku’ was capable of operating fixed wing Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) fighters. The task of breathing life and converting the ship from a VTOL missile cruiser carrier to a short take off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) aircraft carrier involved substantial degutting, equipment removal, refit and re-equipping. The major works included modification of flight deck to include ski-jump and arrester gear; modification of bulbous bow, aft aircraft lift and ammunition lifts; modification of 1,750 out of 2,500 compartments; installation of new main boilers; installation of new and additional diesel generators; replacement of existing distilling plants; fitment of Reverse Osmosis plants, new AC plants and Refrigeration plants and installation of new sensors and equipment. “More than 80 per cent of the equipment fitted into the ship is new,” said an Indian Navy officer.

Creation of the flight deck with structural modification to convert the VTOL carrier to a STOBAR carrier was apparently the most intricate and arduous. The task involved installation of Sponsons to increase the breadth at the Flight Deck and a fitment of a new 14 degree ski jump, strengthening of arresting gear area, strengthening of runway area and elongation of the aft end to generate the required length of landing strip aft of the arresting gear. In all 234 new hull sections were installed to achieve the desired shape.
 
 
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