- The Washington Times - Friday, September 2, 2022

India commissioned its first home-built aircraft carrier on Friday in a bid to both counter China’s fast-growing fleet of warships and develop its own indigenous shipbuilding industry.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on hand as the 860-foot INS Vikrant, the Sanskrit word for “brave” or “proud,” joined the Indian navy fleet. The ceremony was part of their commemoration of 75 years of independence from British rule.

Mr. Modi said the INS Vikrant is a realization of India’s founders’ dreams for a strong and capable country.

“This is a testament to the hard work, talent and commitment of India in the 21st century. If the goals are distant, the journeys are long, the ocean and the challenges are endless, then India’s answer is Vikrant,” Mr. Modi said during the ceremony. “Vikrant is a unique reflection of India becoming self-reliant.”

With the commissioning of the $3 billion INS Vikrant, India joins the handful of nations with more than one aircraft carrier in service. India’s other carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, was built by the former Soviet Union in 1987.

The INS Vikrant was designed by the Indian navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited. It’s the largest ship ever built by an Indian firm, government officials said.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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