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Indian Navy to get aircraft carrier Vikrant in August

IAF’s older generation MI-17 helicopters to undergo major overhaul

Chandigarh, July 11 (KMS): The Indian warship Navy aircraft carrier Vikrant is set to be delivered to the naval forces next month.

The fourth and the last phase of sea trials for the Vikrant were completed on Sunday and the warship conducted integrated trials of equipment and systems onboard, including some of the aviation facilities on the deck, the Indian Navy said.

The first trial was completed in August last year, followed by the second and third phase in October 2021 and January 2022, respectively.

The warship’s endurance testing of propulsion machinery, electrical and electronic warfare suites, deck machinery, life-saving appliances, navigation and communication systems have been tried out at the sea.

The fighter jets that will operate from the deck of the carrier are to be tested using the Russian MiG-29K jets after the warship is handed over to the Indian Navy.

The 44,000-tonne aircraft carrier (IAC) has been made at the state-owned Cochin Shipyard in Kochi, Kerala.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s older generation Mi-17 medium lift helicopters are in for a major upgrade, with plans being firmed up on retrofitting them with advanced avionics and electronic warfare suits, the media reports said.

Under the project, 86 helicopters will be modified, which includes 54 Mi-17 and 32 Mi-17 1V variants. The works will be outsourced to the industry and undertaken at the IAF establishments in Indian cities Chandigarh, Guwahati and Yehalanka.

The modifications listed out for the Mi-17 involves removal of some existing avionics, electronic systems and navigation aids and replacing them with smart multi-function displays, weather radar, traffic collision and avoidance system and air data systems.

The existing GPS will be replaced by GPS-GLONASS, a Russian navigation system, along with a tactical air navigation system, instrument landing system and omni-directional radio navigation aid.

The modification project is expected to be complete in about four years, with 24 helicopters being upgraded in a year. The IAF has earlier carried out various modifications on the Mi-17 to meet specific operational requirements, the reports added.

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