The first indigenous nuclear submarine programme, INS Arihant, is on track and it is expected to go in for sea trials over the next few months, but the aircraft carrier being built at the Cochin Shipyard had suffered a setback, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said here.

INS Arihant comes under the Advanced Technology Vessel programme that was launched in July 2009 in Visakhapatnam.

The vessel, Admiral Verma said at his annual press conference, was undergoing wide ranging trials to test the various systems onboard. “This will be followed by extensive sea trials, before it is commissioned into the Navy.”

On the other hand, there were problems with some key equipment that were to be fitted into the IAC (Indigenous Aircraft Carrier). Efforts were on to make up for the lost time by doing structural work at the shipyard.

Sources in the Navy said the IAC, which initially suffered a setback on account of an accident in the generators, also faced a problem of alignment. The trouble had to be set right before the vessel was ready for trials.

The Navy Chief, however, expressed satisfaction over the pace of acquisition and stressed that within the budget projections, the force was aiming at building a multi-dimensional capability, congruent to its increasing challenges.

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