As the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant undergoes engine test for advanced-level basin trials before venturing into the sea for trials by end of 2020, Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) has put in tight security measures including biometric access for staff to prevent a repeat of September 2019 sabotage incident. The probe by National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the stealing of the hardware drives of Integrated Platform Management System (IMPS) from the vessel has so far not yielded any result. But, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) clarified that the stolen parts were certain Commercially Off The shelf hardware items from Multi Function Consoles (MFCs) of the IPMS.
Sources told TNIE that the security parameters at the Shipyard have been revised by implementing additional measures as the aircraft carrier has entered a critical stage of operational protocol before the commencement of sea trials. “Apart from biometric access control, additional force has also been deployed for strengthening the security.
Only key persons will be given access to compartments inside the vessel containing sensitive hardware and softwares,” an official said. A core team comprising Central Industrial Security Force, Intelligence Bureau and Kerala Police is regularly reviewing the security of the shipyard. “Strict monitoring is being done on third party vendors who are associated with various projects,” the official said.
An MoD statement said trials of gas turbines, main engines and power generation systems were conducted successfully. “IAC had successfully completed the pre-contractors sea trials dry dock work package in December 2019. Basin trials are conducted for proving of the propulsion, transmission and shafting systems and is scheduled in early half of 2020. The aircraft carrier would be ready to commence the sea trials once the basin trials are successfully completed,” the statement said.
What is Basin trial?
Basin trial is the testing of the ship’s machinery and equipment in floating conditions before the commencement of sea trials
What is sea trials?
Series of tests are carried out in the sea after final outfitting and launching of the vessel before the formal induction into the Indian Navy