IAC construction steams forward...

The building dock at Cochin Shipyard where the first indigenous aircraft carrier is being built will be flooded in December 2010 if everything sticks to plan. Out of a total of 874 modular blocks that will constitute the carrier in its final form, 423 blocks are ready, and lie stacked in the open yards at the shipyard, waiting to be lowered into the building dock. The remaining 451 blocks will be completed by the end of this year. With a length of 265-metres and a 7.5-metre draft, the IAC is quite simply the largest ship that CSL has ever undertaken to build. CSL chairman M Jeetendran says he will have capacity to undertake the construction of a second IAC by the end of 2009. The concurrent design and construction model that defines the IAC programme is such that critical parts of the vessel are still on the drawing board -- and certain design elements are still to be firmed up fully.

Director-General of Naval Design, Rear Admiral HK Badhwar's (in photo) team is still at it on the "fighting elements" of the ship's design -- including many (not all) of the weapon systems, deck configuration of weapons and some aviation-related machinery.

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