India to launch own aircraft carrier on Monday
NEW DELHI (AFP) - India will on Monday launch its first indigenously built aircraft carrier, two years behind schedule and at an estimated cost of up to US$5 billion (S$6.3 billion).
The event to be attended by senior defence officials and diplomats will mark India's entry into an elite club of nations including Britain, France, Russia and the United States that design and build their own aircraft carriers.
"It took us seven to eight years to design it," the navy's chief designer A.K. Saxena said, referring to the project launched in 2009 as "complex and challenging".
The launch is due to take place just days after India announced on Saturday its first indigenously-built nuclear submarine was ready for sea trials - a step before it becomes fully operational - and called it a "giant stride" for the nation.