The Indian Navy has launched the first-ever oceanika carrier, a new type of carrier designed to support India’s growing maritime presence in the Indo-Pacific.
The seaplane-carrying vessel will be christened the Oceanika on Friday (May 5).
It will be launched from Mumbai and then proceed to the Indian Ocean to join the fleet of aircraft carriers known as the Indian Navy’s flagship fleet.
India is set to become the first nation to build and operate an oceanika shipyard, the navy said in a statement.
“The Oceanika will be built in Mumbai and launched from the port of Alibaug.
The shipyard will then sail to the waters off the coast of Myanmar and join the Indian fleet,” the statement said.
The oceanika was first seen in the Indian waters, which include the Arabian Sea, in 2013, when it was christened HMCS Oceanika.
In November, the government unveiled plans to upgrade the shipyard with a $300 million programme to upgrade equipment, shipbuilding and other facilities.
The country’s fleet of oceanika vessels has seen its operational capabilities increase dramatically since it was commissioned in 2006.
India’s fleet includes about 1,000 vessels, including a number of patrol ships and submarines.
India launched its oceanika fleet in 2011, and began operational trials in 2017.
India currently has a total of about 1.8 million tonnes of maritime trade in the country.
A seaplane carrier is a large, fast-moving ship capable of carrying aircraft and ships.
The Navy said the oceanika is capable of being launched in two months, making it an ideal shipyard for India’s navy to upgrade.