That is the motto of the flagship of the Indian Navy, INS Vikramaditya (which translates to ‘Brave as the sun’). This ship has a quite a history which is in contrast with the canvas of naval ships from around the world. Beginning its journey as a Soviet vessel followed by its induction into the Russian navy and finally, bought by India to serve as its Navy’s flagship. Baku The ship was laid down in 1978 at Nikolayev South in Ukraine, launched in 1982 and commissioned in December 1987. The ship was originally named “Baku” after a city. The ship was renamed as “Admiral Gorshkov” in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union because the city of Baku became a part of independent Azerbaijan, and that is when the ship was induced into the now Russian navy. After undergoing an explosion in the boiler room the ship was docked for repairs but Russia later realized that it was a bit strapped to operate the ship on a post-Cold war budget and decided to put it up for sale in 1996. The agreement to sell Admiral Gorshkov to India after an extensive upgrade was finalized on 20 January 2004 for a marked down price of $2.35 billion (comparatively). The actual ship was free, but India would pay $800 million for upgrades and an additional $1 billion for aircraft and weapons systems. INS Vikramaditya INS Vikramaditya was commissioned on 16 November 2013 at a ceremony held at Severodvinsk, Russia. On June 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally inducted INS Vikramaditya into the Indian Navy. But how is the Vikramaditya different from Admiral Gorshkov? As seen above, the most intricate modification was the conversion of the VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) carrier to a STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) carrier. Admiral Gorshkov was actually a hybrid of a cruiser and a carrier, it’s bow was used for carrying cruise missiles and weapon systems which in the process of modifications were completely stripped and instead a 14.3 degree bow ski-jump ramp was fitted. The aft lift was modified to carry 30 tons instead of 20 and for STOBAR operations, three 30m arrestor wires and three restraining gears (shown below) on the stern of the angled deck were fitted. Sponsons were installed to increase the breadth at the flight deck for the fitment of the ski-jump. All in all a total of 2500 ton of extra steel was added to the ship to fulfil the navy’s requirements giving the ship a displacement of 45,400 metric tons of displacement. The ship is about 284m long and has a beam of 60m. The ship’s 8 turbo-pressurized boilers, 4 shafts and 4 geared steam turbines all together squeeze out a juice of 180,000 horsepower (134,226 kW) and the power plant used is 6 turbo alternators and 6 diesel alternator generating 18 Mega-Watt electrical. All these horses are capable of driving the ship to an impressive speed of 32 knots (59km/h) and giving it a range of 7000 nautical miles (13,000 km). The ships air wing currently consists of 30 Russian made Mikoyan MiG-29K MRFs and 6 Kamov Ka-31s and Kamov Ka-28 choppers. And to conclude, I’d say this massive 2 acres of Indian territory will definitely change the face of the Indian Navy.
– Nikhil Bollimuntha [ Viper ]