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Kochi :

A day ahead of the Defence Acquisitions Council meeting in Delhi, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar led a team here on Monday to review the progress of the indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-P71) project.

The Council meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on January 21 will decide on critical procurements to be made for the armed forces.

An Empowered Apex Committee (EAC) headed by Kumar visited the Cochin Shipyard Limited and reviewed the aircraft carrier project’s status.

The aircraft carrier is in a very advanced stage of construction and is scheduled to commence basin trials in early 2020 followed by sea trials by mid-2020.

“This is the 13th apex committed review meeting on the project and the first to be held after signing of Phase-III of the IAC Contract on October 31, 2019, between the Ministry of Defence and Cochin Shipyard Limited,” the Ministry said.

Kumar was accompanied by Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral GS Pabby, Chief of Materiel, Vice Admiral SR Sarma, Controller Warship Production & Acquisition from Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy) and other senior officers, warship overseeing the team and carrier acceptance and trials team.

The indigenous aircraft carrier had successfully completed pre-contractors sea trials and dry-dock work package in December 2019. “Basin trials are conducted for propulsion, transmission, and shafting systems,” the Ministry said.

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