Even as the COVID-19 pandemic effected various economic activities across India, the Indian Navy has maintained to keep on track the construction of country's first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
The Indian Navy, which is well aware of growing threat from China and its expansionist plans in the Indian Ocean Region, has used modern innovative methods such as video conferencing and monitoring by cameras to fill the gaps caused in the process due to the pandemic, the Economic Times has reported.
INS Vikrant is being built by Indian Navy at its Kochi shipyard, and as per sources cited by ET, the work has been on track and is expected to finish in time. The aircraft carrier is expected to be inducted in the Navy next year and is likely to begin operations by 2022.
However, the report says, construction work for warships at various other shipyards such as Mumbai has been delayed by a few months due to low staff turnout and broken supply chain.
“At some yards, six to seven months have been lost due to the Covid crisis but CSL (Cochin Shipyard Ltd) did not take a break. A lot of effort was put in, including setting up cameras all across the ship so that original equipment manufacturers could monitor progress and work was carried out despite the crises,” sources were quoted as saying by ET.
The Indian Navy, as per current plans, is going to have two aircraft carriers by 2021.
The force is also pitching for one more indigenous carrier after Vikrant, keeping in mind the China's aggressive plans of having a fleet of at least four aircraft carriers in the coming time.
“The PLA Navy has decided to go for four carriers and all other countries in the region like Japan and South Korea are converting their ships into carriers by inducting the F 35 fighters (that can land and take off from short decks). They know air power at sea will be vital,” according to sources quoted in the ET report.
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