India’s first homegrown aircraft carrier INS Vikrant saw another first today – a visit on board by a foreign Prime Minister.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who is on a visit to India, received a guard of honour on board the carrier today.
“I am honoured to be here today on the newly-commissioned, Indian-designed and manufactured INS Vikrant at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi. My visit reflects my government’s commitment to place India at the heart of Australia’s approach to the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” Mr Albanese said in a statement.
“… What lifts defence relationships to new levels is the resolve and foresight of those who see the relationship not only for what it is, but what it could be. Prime Minister Modi is one such person,” he said.
India and Australia are close strategic partners. In August this year, Australia will hold the Malabar Naval Exercise with India, Japan and the US. India will for the first time participate in Australia’s Talisman Sabre exercise.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart watched the fourth Test between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad for half an hour.
INS Vikrant was commissioned into the navy in September last year. The 45,000-tonne warship has been built at a cost of ₹ 20,000 crore. At 262 metres long and 62 metres wide, INS Vikrant is the largest warship to be built in India. It can have 30 aircraft on board, including MiG-29K fighter jets and helicopters. The warship can accommodate a crew of nearly 1,600.
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