Another Major Delay For Navy's 1st Indian Aircraft Carrier

India's first indigenous aircraft carrier, the new Vikrant, won't be commissioned before 2017, Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said yesterday, indicating a further two year delay from the previously known time-frame. The Admiral explained that over and above existing delays, there had been serious problems in the installation of gearboxes, coupled with an unfortunate road accident from Pune to Kochi where a truck transporting generators for the ship turned turtle, forcing the shipbuilders to send the equipment back to the OEM for inspection and repair.

When the chief was asked about IAC-2, likely to be named Vishal, the Navy chief said, "It's too soon to talk about that. I've got more pressing priorities now." It is known that Vishal will be a much larger ship than the Vikrant, and therefore in a class of its own. While the Navy chief was circumspect about specifications and configuration, it is also near certain that the second carrier will be a CATOBAR flat-top -- at least that's what the Indian Navy is gunning for.

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