NATIONAL

INS Vikramaditya fires surface-to-air missile

Over three years after joining the Navy, the country’s sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on Friday successfully carried out the maiden test of the newly installed Barak short range surface-to-air missile.

“During the firing carried out in the Arabian Sea, the missile was fired against a live, low-flying, high-speed target. The target was successfully engaged and destroyed,” a Navy officer said.

The 44,500 tonne carrier was commissioned into the Navy in November 2013 at Severodvinsk in Russia and was originally scheduled to have the long range surface- to-air missile system under joint development with Israel. But delay in its development resulted in the carrier being inducted into the force without its own air defence system, and forcing it to rely on support ships in the carrier battle group for air cover.

The firing was conducted as part of the operational readiness inspection of the Western Fleet by Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command, from March 21-23, the Navy said in a statement.

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