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INS Vikrant, 1st India-Made Aircraft Carrier, Commissioned By Prime Minister in Cochin shipyard

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday unveiled the new Naval Ensign ‘Nishaan’ at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi, doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage. The Prime Minister unveiled the new Naval Ensign ‘Nishaan’ during the commissioning of the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. Naval Ensigns are flags that naval ships or formations bear to denote nationality. 

The current Indian Naval Ensign consists of a St. George`s Cross -- a red cross with white background. In one corner of the cross, the Indian flag was put when the country attained freedom, replacing the Union Jack in that place.

The Indian Naval Ensign has changed multiple times since Independence. It was only in 2001 that the St George`s Cross was taken out and the Indian Navy`s crest was added to the opposite corner of the ensign. The cross was put back again in 2004 with the addition of the emblem of India at the intersection of the cross.

INS Vikrant

Designed by the Indian Navy`s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, INS Vikrant has been built with state-of-the-art automation features and is the largest ship ever built in the maritime history of India.

As per the Indian Navy, the 262-meter-long carrier has a full displacement of close to 45,000 tonnes which is much larger and more advanced than her predecessor. With Vikrant, India has joined a select group of nations having the niche capability to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier. The ship`s keel was laid in February 2009, followed by launching in August 2013. With an overall indigenous content of 76 per cent, IAC is a perfect example of the nation`s quest for "Aatma Nirbhar Bharat" and provides a thrust to Government`s `Make in India` initiative. 

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