New Delhi: After a gap of over two decades, India is operating two aircraft carriers in its maritime zone with the arrival of its largest warship INS Vikramaditya in the Arabian Sea where it is now operating with INS Viraat.
The 44,500 tonne warship which had cost over USD 2.3 billion is operating with aircraft carrier INS Viraat of the Western fleet along with other frontline vessels including destroyers INS Delhi and Mumbai and frigates INS Teg, Talwar, Trikand, INS Subhadra, INS Godavari and fleet tanker INS Deepak.
The Indian Navy has two aircraft carriers at sea after over 20 years, a Navy release said here.
The aircraft carrier set sail for India in November-end and is likely to reach its base in Karwar in Karnataka by the end of this week.
The ship was earlier scheduled to be inducted into the Navy in November, 2012 but some defects in its engines and boilers led to a year-long delay.
India and Russia had signed the deal for the aircraft carrier in 2004 and its induction will see the Navy having two operational carriers.
The warship has been inducted into the Navy after a delay of almost five years and a cost over-run of almost one billion dollars. India is also manufacturing its first indigenous aircraft carrier in Cochin which is likely to be operational by 2018.