Basin Trials of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) were sucessfully conducted at Cochin Shipyard Limited on 30 November in the presence of Vice Admiral A K Chawla PVSM, AVSM, NM, VSM, ADC, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command and Madhu S Nair, Chairman and Managing Director Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
Basin Trials are primarily aimed at proving the Main Propulsion Plant of the ship in harbour and is a precursor to the ensuing Sea Trials. Onboard IAC, extensive trials of all four LM2500 Gas Turbines, Main Gear Boxes, Shafting and Controllable Pitch Propellers, along with their integrated control systems, were carried out during these trials. In addition, major auxiliary equipment and systems such as Steering Gear, Air Conditioning Plants, Compressors, Centrifuges, all 60 critical Pumps, Fireman system, Power Generation and Distribution system, major Machinery Fire-Fighting and De-flooding systems, all Deck Machinery as well as entire internal communication equipment were also proved during the Harbour trials phase.
NV Suresh Babu, Director Operations, CSL, Commodore Ishan Tandon, Director Carrier Acceptance Trial Team (CATT), Commodore Sameer Aggarwal, Chief Staff Officer (Technical) of Southern Naval Command, Commodore Cyril Thomas, Warship Production Superintendent (WPS) and Commodore Vivek Dahiya, Commanding Officer (Designated) witnessed the event.
The Navy in a statement said that with successful completion of Basin Trials, IAC has entered the final phase of the project. The Sea Trials are planned in first half of 2021. With focused and committed efforts of Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard Limited, it is only a matter of time that IAC would be sailing the high seas bearing the National Tricolour.
The IAC project includes close to 75 percent of indigenous material and equipment. Raw material such as 23000 Tons Steel, 2500 Kilometers of Electrical Cables, 150 kilometers of Pipes and 2000 Valves as well as finished products such as Anchor Capstans, Rigid Hull Boats and LCVPs, Galley equipment, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Plants, Steering Gear, RO Plants, Main Switchboards, Energy Distribution Centres, more than 150 Pumps and Motors, AK 630 Guns, Chaff Launchers, Internal and External Communication Equipment, all Network Systems including Ship Data Network, Integrated Platform Management System and Combat Management System.
Furthermore, over 50 Indian manufacturers have been directly involved in this project providing employment opportunities. The statement said that close to 2000 Indians received direct employment onboard IAC on a daily basis and over 40,000 received indirect employment. In addition, about 80-85% of the project cost of approximately Rs.20,000/- Crores has been ploughed back into the Indian Economy.
The statement added, “Despite the restrictions imposed by the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, CSL and Indian Navy worked as a cohesive team to ensure timely completion of all essential tasks leading up to Basin Trials of Aircraft Carrier. It is solely due to the astute planning and the implementation of necessary safety measure on ground by Navy and Shipyard that the work onboard Aircraft Carrier could progress unhindered even during the peak of pandemic.”