India has undocked its first indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at a simple ceremony at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi, reports PTI.
As of this week, the INS Vikrant, with a completed hull and internal structure, is free-floating and will go into static and dynamic trials soon.
The ship, built at CSL, will undergo a series of fitment and trial processes before it is ready for propulsion and inducted into the Navy, CSL officials said.
"A milestone crossed in shipbuilding IAC INS Vikrant undocked on completion of structural work at CSL,” defense ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar tweeted.
India's largest aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant's induction into the Navy will be done after a series of static and dynamic trials, they said.
The vessel was officially launched in August 2013 when it completed the first phase of its construction. Its undocking marks the successful conclusion of its second phase of construction. The carrier, which first left its dry dock in December 2011, is expected to have fully completed construction by 2016 and to be commissioned in 2017.
The successful completion of the 40,000 tonne aircraft carrier puts
India in the elite group of four nations - the US, Russia, the UK and France
- in the world capable of designing and constructing aircraft carriers.
INS Viraat was first launched in the sea in 1953, and commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1987. It is expected to be decommissioned in 2016.The second ship, INS Vikramaditya is a modified Russian Kiev-class aircraft carrier. The proposal for a second indigenous aircraft carrier has, meanwhile, been given the go ahead with the government approving Rs.30 crore for preparations for the carrier.