The INS Vikramaditya, India’s first aircraft carrier, is expected to return from major refit at Karwar Naval base at the end of this month with sea trials beginning soon after. While the Indian Navy anticipates flight trials on both the INS Vikramaditya and its successor, the INS Vikrant, before the monsoon season, the two operational aircraft carriers will strengthen India’s naval footprint in the Indo-Pacific.

Vikramaditya underwent a major overhaul that lasted eighteen months and was completed in July 2022. However, during the trials following the refit, the 45,000-ton carrier caught fire.

In 2019, a young Naval officer was killed while putting out another fire in Vikramaditya. Both of these carriers will be based on the western coast until the new Vishakapatnam jetty opens. Meanwhile, the Navy is considering leasing a jetty at the Kattupalli port in North Chennai for INS Vikrant.