New Delhi: Ahead of the launch of its first indigenous aircraft carrier at Kochi on August 12, Directorate of Naval Design on Saturday termed it as one of its most "complex and challenging" works which would be considered as a key success in Indian Navy`s indigenisation programme.
Director General, Naval Design, Rear Admiral AK Saxena said the 37,500 tonne carrier`s design and capacity went through many changes and also suffered setbacks, caused by fund constraint, before "Mig 29K came on the horizon", prompting the directorate to build a carrier big and efficient enough to handle it.
"It took us seven to eight years to design it," he said, adding it would have over 1400-member crew.
Defence Minister A K Antony`s wife Elizabeth Antony will launch the carrier, to be named Vikrant, capable of handling 30-odd fighter aircraft.
The warship would be able to join duty in 2018. Its launch would catapult India to a select group of four countries capable of manufacturing and operating a 40,000 tonne carrier.