India is all set to join the select club of countries capable of designing and building 40,000 ton aircraft carriers with the launch of an aircraft carrier on August 12 in Kochi.
Scheduled to be launched by Defence Minister A K Antony's wife Elizabeth Antony, the carrier will be named after Vikrant, India's first aircraft carrier, Naval Staff vice chief Vice-Admiral R K Dhowan said.
"The US, the UK, Russian and France are the countries with capabilities of designing and building 40,000 tonne and above aircraft carriers. India will join them," he said.
Dhowan said it would be phase-1 launch and outfitting, construction of superstructure and machinery and equipment would follow. The carrier is scheduled to be inducted by 2018 end.
The ship, having 260 metre length and 60 metre breadth, has been designed by Directorate of Naval Design and is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited. Its production work had commenced in November 2006.