It's been a year since the INS Vikramaditya, was commissioned. However, India's largest warship still does not have a close-on weapon system (CIWS).
4th Dec 2014
It's been a year since the INS Vikramaditya, was commissioned. However, India's largest warship still does not have a close-on weapon system (CIWS). It will be installed only after a year.
The CIWS is a defence weapon for detecting as well as destroying enemy aircraft and short-range missiles that may attempt to strike the warship.
And that's not the only thing that's missing. During a refit, other weaponry systems like long range surface to air missile system, point defence missile system etc. will also be installed onto the warship.
With such crucial weapons missing, the warship is ill-armed for missiles attacks.
In comparison, INS Viraat has far more sophisticated weapons like Barack defence systems and anti-aircraft guns. On the other hand, fighter pilots of the INS Vikramaditya are undergoing training to fly MiG 29K aircraft.
"Installation of CIWS was not done on INS Vikramaditya in Russia. It will be done during the refit of the vessel," said vice admiral Anil Chopra, flag officer, commander-in-chief of the western naval command.
The aircraft carrier was commissioned into the Indian Navy on November 13 last year. The refit is scheduled in 2015 or early 2016.
The defence mechanisms that are missing on the INS Vikramaditya are present on almost all naval platforms to be better equipped to fight enemies and defending the vessel from air attacks.
According to a source, the refit may most likely happen at Cochin Shipyard Limited due to unavailability of facilities and space inside the naval dockyard, where currently there is a facility to carry out refits for INS Viraat.
The INS Vikramaditya is currently on its maiden visit to Mumbai. A few trials are also being conducted off Mumbai's coast. The ship arrived in India in January this year and is based at Karwar.
Formerly known as 'Baku' and 'Admiral Gorshkov', she served Russia from December 1987 till a boiler room explosion occurred in 1994. After a year of repairs, she again returned to serve in 1996 only to be withdrawn in 1996. In 2004, India accepted the vessel, which then underwent extensive refits and upgradation before being handed over.