A beauty berths in Karwar. A deadly beauty

Friday, 10 January 2014 - 1:45pm IST | Place: Karwar | Agency: dna

INS Vikramaditya, Indian Navy's newest aircraft carrier, comes to its lair.

The beautiful coastal town was abuzz on Thursday with people wanting to catch a glimpse of the nation’s pride. But the femme fatale seemed a bit coy, hiding more than it revealed. Photographers angled their lenses to get the best shot but the Navy’s deadliest — and prized possession — seldom obliged. And poor visibility didn’t help matters much either.

INS Vikramaditya, formerly Admiral Gorshkov, arrived at the prestigious Kadamba Naval base late on Wednesday night and entered its berthing place only on Thursday morning. It is berthed at Argha Jetty on the southern portion of the base.

It carried two helicopters but none of the fighter aircraft as yet. It was berthed outside the breakwater for a considerable amount of time on Wednesday allowing engineers to study the technicalities. The ship was escorted to Karwar from Severodvinsk in  Russia by ten other classes of Naval ships.

She started this journey on November 27, 2013. She has brought with her some 180  Russian Naval engineers who will look after the ship till their Indian counterparts get acquainted with her.

The ship was built over a period of nine years at Severodvinsk docks and is the second aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, the first one being the indegeneously built INS Virat. According to Naval officials, INS Vikrant, which is under refit, will join the ranks in 2018-19.

Sources in the Navy told dna that a proper initiation ceremony of the INS Vikramaditya was in order and soon the defence ministry will take a decision on that. It was originally planned that the defence minister A K Antony would receive the ship as it arrived in Karwar.

The characteristic ramp sticking out of the hull of the ship was prominently seen and gazers let out oohs and aahs as she left the breakwaters.

She cost $2.44 billion (Rs 14,500 crore)

Her 16 MW generator can light up entire Karwar

She can carry 8,000 tons of fuel, 1,600 personnel, 45 MiG 28Ks and the Naval type LCA (Tejas)

She can cruise up to 7,000 nautical miles without refueling.

She can create a surveillance radius around her for 500 km

Her unique ramp helps aircraft like MiG 29s to take off and land in a short distance

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