|India's indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, built by the Cochin Shipyard Limited for the Indian Navy, is docked at the Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kerala, on Aug. 11, 2013. India launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier Monday, which will put the country in the league of nations to have such a capability, a top defense official said. (Xinhua/stringer)
Photos >> India launches first indigenous aircraft carrier
NEW DELHI, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Indian Defense minister A.K. Antony on Monday launched Indian's first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in the southern port of Kochi, marking the entry of India into the world's elite club capable of producing their own carriers.
Addressing the ceremony, Antony hailed the event as a milestone for India's navy capability, according to local TV Times Now.
INS Vikrant, with a capacity to carry 36 fighter planes, would go for extensive trials in 2016 before being inducted into the Navy by the end of 2018, said officials, who described the launching as the "crowning" of domestication program of armed equipment of the country.
Nearly 90 percent of INS Vikrant's hull has been built indigenously, said The Times of India online.
The flight deck INS Vikrant will have the capacity to hold 19 aircraft and the hangar inside will have room for 17 fighters.
The time interval between the take-offs of two fighters from the ship can be as low as three minutes and can be reduced to less than two minutes, the newspaper quoted naval officials as saying.