In his first visit to a military asset after assuming office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will sail on the country's largest warship and aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya off the coast of Goa in the Arabian Sea tomorrow. "The Prime Minister would be embarking on the 'carrier at sea' by helicopter and is likely to witness a host of exercises by the frontline warships and aircraft of the Navy," a Defence Ministry spokesperson said here.
This is Prime Minister's first visit outside Delhi after taking over on May 26. He is scheduled to spend around three hours on the 44,500-tonne Vikramaditya, which showcases India's naval prowess.
During his stay onboard the ship, acquired from Russia for over Rs 15,000 crore, Modi would witness 'air power demonstration' by various naval aircraft, including MiG 29K, Sea Harriers, P 8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft, TU 142M and IL-38SD maritime surveillance planes along with Kamov and Sea King helicopters. He will also witness high-speed manoeuvres by the Navy's Western Fleet ships including aircraft carrier INS Viraat, Delhi-class destroyers and Talwar-class frigates.
The Prime minister shall also witness the take-off and 'arrestor wire landing operations' and high-speed low-level operations of MiG29 K integral fighters planes onboard the flight deck of Vikramaditya, officials said.
Modi will interact with the crew onboard and address officers and sailors of the Navy. He was also scheduled to inaugurate the Shore-based Test Facilty meant for practising carrier-based take-off and landing operations but this has been cancelled due to his other engagements in the state. The deal for the aircraft carrier was signed during the previous NDA regime in 2004 and the ship will be dedicated to the nation after a gap of ten years.
The vessel had joined the Indian Navy on November 16, 2013. The ship was earlier commissioned by the then defence minister AK Antony in Russia. Vikramaditya, a floating airfield, has an overall length of about 284 metres and a maximum beam of about 60 metres, stretching as much as three football fields put together.
Standing about 20 storeys tall from keel to the highest point, the ship has a total of 22 decks and carries 1,600 personnel. Its logistics requirements include nearly a lakh of eggs, 20,000 litres of milk and 16 tonnes of rice per month. With her complete stock of provisions, she is capable of sustaining herself at sea for about 45 days.