In a news that has sent shock waves across the India Navy and security establishment, it has come to notice that INS Vikrant has been vandalized at the Cochin shipyard where it is under-construction. Livemint reports that a hard disk and a multi function control (MFC) processor were stolen and damaged inside Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC)-Vikrant docked at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL).
The Union Home Ministry has taken the issue seriously and has ordered a probe. Home Ministry has also indicated that the theft and vandalism was a result of “an internal matter and a possible insider job.”
The dock was being guarded by the personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). The CISF has said that a probe will be undertaken by the Kerala state police as the construction area was being provided security by a private security firm. Livemint quoting ‘a person familiar with the development’ reports that the disk contained sensitive information crucial for national security and a probe is underway to check if it was an insider job or not.
INS Vikrant will be the first ingenuously built aircraft carrier in India. The construction of the aircraft carrier started in 2009 and is aimed to be completed and ready to be commissioned by 2021. It is being constructed at Cochin Shipyard, which is the largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility in India.
The ship is expected to start sea trials from February 2021, and enter service by 2023. With the completion of INS Vikrant, India will join the ranks of countries like US, UK, Russia, France, and China in the construction of aircraft carriers.