INS Vikramaditya

INS Vikramaditya is a flagship of the Indian Navy, in service from 2013. It was originally a Russian Kiev-Class ship before being modified into a full-fledged aircraft carrier after its purchase by India.

She was commissioned on 16 November 2013 at a ceremony held at Severodvinsk, Russia. On 14 June 2014, the Prime Minister of India formally inducted INS Vikramaditya into the Indian Navy and dedicated her to the nation.

This article will further elaborate upon INS Vikramaditya within the context of the IAS Exam.

Background of INS Vikramaditya

INS Vikramaditya began life as Baku in 1987. It was renamed Admiral Gorshkov in 1991. It was part of the new Kiev class aircraft carriers, which combined the raw power of a battlecruiser and that of the versatile aircraft carrier.

However, Admiral Gorshkov was deactivated in 1996 as the collapse of the Soviet Union made it too costly for the post-Cold War Russia to operate it without making some necessary budget cuts. It was then that such a ship came to the attention of the Indian government. The Indian navy was looking to expand its operational capability further, and Admiral Gorshkov was the right fit.

Following years of negotiations, Russia and India inked a deal for the sale of the ship at US$800 billion, which would go into upgrading and refitting the ship. An additional $1 billion would be for purchasing aircraft and weapons systems.

The upgrade involved stripping all the weapons and missile launcher tubes from the ship’s foredeck to make way for a “short take-off but arrested recovery” (STOBAR) configuration, converting the Gorshkov from a hybrid carrier/cruiser to a pure carrier.

The delivery date of INS Vikramaditya was scheduled for August 2008, just in time for the carrier to enter into service when the INS Viraat would be decommissioned. However delays due to rising production cost ensured that the INS Vikramaditya’s delivery would be pushed to 2013.

After undergoing sea trials from May 2012, the ship was formally commissioned on 16 November 2013 at a ceremony held at Severodvinsk, Russia. The ceremony was attended by the then Indian defence minister A. K. Antony and the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

Characteristics of INS Vikramaditya

The following table gives the description about INS Vikramaditya:

INS Vikramaditya

Home Port   INS Kadamba, Karwar 
Launched 4 December 2008
Completed 19 April 2012
Commissioned 16 November 2013
In service Since 14 June 2014
Class and type Modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier
Displacement 45,400 tons of loaded displacement
Length 284 metres (overall)
Beam 61 metres
Draught 10.2 metres
Decks 22
Installed power 6 turbo alternators and 6 diesel alternators which generate 18
Propulsion 8 turbo-pressurised boilers, 4 shafts, 4 geared steam turbines, generating 180,000 horsepower
Speed 56 km/h
Range 25,000 km at 33 km/h
Endurance 45 days
Complement 110 officers and 1500 sailors
Sensors and

processing systems

Long range Air Surveillance Radars, LESORUB-E, Resistor-E radar complex, CCS MK II communication complex and Link II tactical data system
  • 4 × AK-630 CIWS
  • Barak 1 ex-INS Godavari
  • Barak 8 (LRSAM)
Aircraft carried Maximum of 36 aircraft including

  • 26 × Mikoyan MiG-29K multi-role fighters
  • 10 × Kamov Ka-31 AEW&C and Kamov Ka-28 ASW helicopters
Aviation facilities
  • 14-degree ski-jump
  • Three 30 m wide arrester gears and three restraining gears.

Facts about INS Vikramaditya

  • Captain C R Praveen Nair is the current Commanding Officer (CO) of the INS Vikramaditya, assuming office in 2019.
  • On 8 December 2015, Indian Defence-Ministry sources stated that the INS Vikramaditya would receive its first major overhaul in September 2016 as part of the “Make in India” initiative. The state-owned Cochin Shipyards and the Pipavav Shipyard will overhaul the carrier once it is in dry dock.
  • A State Bank of India ATM was opened onboard Vikramaditya on 21 January 2017, making it the first Indian Navy ship to have an ATM.
  • Vikramaditya is capable of launching Aircraft without Catapult, unlike in US Aircraft Carriers. This type of launching and recovery of Aircraft is called Short Takeoff but Arrested landing (STOBAR). In this procedure, the aircraft lines up with the ski ramp and opens full throttle while applying brakes at the same time. When the throttle is completely open, the pilot releases the brakes and the Aircraft Takes off with the help of the Ski ramp.
  • Not only Vikramaditya is heavily armed, but it also hosts a variety of soft-power assets such as a fully equipped hospital, survey systems and can also serve as humanitarian relief & disaster relief (HADR) platforms to deal with any natural calamity such as tsunami, earthquake etc.
  • When the Carrier was just handed over to the Navy back in 2014, 183 Russian personnel were onboard the ship helping the 1600-odd Indian sailors to operate this active aircraft. They were also assigned with the task to train the officers of Indian side about the various strategies and operational tactics of R33.
  • With over 1600 personnel on board, Vikramaditya carries a mammoth logistics amounting to nearly a lakh of eggs, 20,000 litres of milk and 16 tonnes of rice, every month.

INS Vikramaditya- Download PDF Here

For more information about upcoming Government Exams, visit the linked article. More exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below

Related Links

Cold War INS Kavaratti
INS Vikrant UPSC Syllabus
Topic-wise GS 1 Questions for UPSC Mains Topic-wise GS 2 Questions for UPSC Mains



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