INS Vikramaditya on operational deployment

By SP's Special Correspondent
Photo Credit: Indian Navy & Sevmash

June 09, 2014: With INS Vikramaditya on operational deployment with the Western Fleet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will board the aircraft carrier for a ceremonial day at sea in mid-June. The ship was to have been ceremonially welcomed into Indian service under the previous government, but a combination of factors, including dates for the PM and the ship's work-up to operational status, forced the Navy to postpone the event. In many ways, Modi's welcoming of the Vikramaditya is symbolic: it was the NDA's previous Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee under whose tenure the original contract for the Admiral Gorshkov was signed. The ship, delivered after several stops and starts over a decade, was finally commissioned into Indian service last November. Modi is likely to witness the entire gamut of carrier borne operations, including MiG-29K flights, missile firing from other vessels, and possibly off-deck submarine operations.