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India’s “Vikrant” aircraft carrier conducts first mooring test

India’s first domestic aircraft carrier, Vikrant, successfully conducted its first mooring test inside the port at the Cochin Shipyard on November 30.

USS Vikrant, which was moored for testing at the Cochin Shipyard, photographed from “Naval Defense News”
“Vikrant” conducts mooring test in the port. Photo from Twitter
USS Vikrant was previously moored at the Cochin Shipyard. Image from Wikipedia

According to the website of “Naval Defense News”, India’s first domestic aircraft carrier, Vikrant, conducted its first mooring test on November 30. In the mooring test, the four LM2500 engines equipped by the aircraft carrier Vikrant successfully operated, and the key equipment in its power system, such as gearbox, spindle, variable pitch propeller and integrated control system, have passed the test. Other auxiliary equipment such as steering gears, power generation and distribution equipment, and internal communication networks have also completed a number of tests in the “port test”.

The aircraft carrier Vikrant is 262 meters long, 62 meters wide and has a displacement of about 40,000 tons. It is a sliding aircraft carrier designed and built by India itself. The ship was launched in 2013. In the seventh year after launching, after experiencing steel plate shortages, problems with ship-based engine and gearbox adaptation problems, ship-borne computer components were stolen by shipyard workers and sold for money, the ship finally had the ability to operate its power system in the port.

The Shandong ship, which started construction six years later than Vikrant, has conducted its first sea test in 2018 and has been officially trained with the carrier-based aircraft unit in October this year.

Indian naval officers revealed to the New India Express that after the service of Vikrant, the ship can carry 36-40 carrier-based aircraft, of which 26 are fixed-wing fighter MIG-29K, and the rest are carrier-based helicopters, including Russian business card-31 carrier-based early warning helicopters and British Wei Strand Sea King helicopter and “North Star” helicopter designed and manufactured by Hindustan Aviation Manufacturing Group. It is worth mentioning that the Indian Ministry of Defense originally hoped to convert the “Glorious” light fighter that India had developed itself for 30 years into carrier-based aircraft, but the Indian Navy believed that the “Glorious” light fighter was too heavy for the aircraft carrier “Vikrant” and therefore rejected the Indian Ministry of Defense’s proposal.

Four carrier-based aircraft that may be equipped with the USS Vikrant

It is also worth mentioning that the aircraft carrier Vikrant is also equipped with a 2×32 unit vertical hair system to assist air defense, and the vertical hair of this type of vertical hair is equipped with a “Barak-8” anti-aircraft missile, a medium-range anti-aircraft missile developed by Israel, claiming to have a range of 80-100 kilometers. However, its power range is only 40 kilometers. It is also quite rare in the world to deploy so many vertical hair systems on aircraft carriers, and it is even more intriguing why 64 units of “Barak-8” medium-range missiles are deployed.

Israel’s “Barak-8” medium-range anti-aircraft missile from Wikipedia
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