Kochi, Oct 12 (PTI) Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba today reviewed the progress of construction of the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’ at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) here.

He was briefed about various construction activities related to the 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier, whose keel was laid in February 2009.

The INS Vikrant, which was launched in August 2013 and undocked two years later, is in its final stage of construction at the CSL.

On his arrival, Admiral Lanba was received at the naval air station INS Garuda by Vice Admiral A R Karve, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Southern Naval Command, a Defence release said.

“At the shipyard, the CNS (chief of Naval staff) accompanied by the FOC-in-C (South) and other senior officials of the Navy took a walk around of the ship to get a first hand appreciation of the progress of work onboard…,” it said.

Later, the Chief of Naval Staff had discussions with CSL Chairman and Managing Director Madhu S Nair. Work on the hull structure of the carrier was nearing completion and outfitting activities on various equipment and systems were under progress, the release said.

The ship, which is designed to survive attack by nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, puts India in the elite group of nations like the US, Russia, the UK and France that are capable of designing and constructing aircraft carriers.

The basic design of INS Vikrant was done by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, which had been developed into detailed design by the design team of CSL.

According to an earlier schedule, the warship was expected to be ready by next year.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.