India's first indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is well on schedule and should be delivered on time to the Indian Navy, Commodore (retd) Kartik Subramaniam, chairman & managing director, Cochin Shipyard, said in Kolkata on Thursday. He was attending the commissioning ceremony of the ICGS Anmol, a Fast Patrol Vessel (FBV) built by the shipyard in Kochi. This ship was delivered to the Coast Guard 19 days ahead of schedule. "It was a proud moment when the INS Vikrant was undocked. Shipbuilding is basically teamwork. We succeed in delivering ships on time due to support from all our associates. Nearly 98 per cent of the work on the hull of INS Vikrant has been completed. Work is now underway on the flight deck. Things are on schedule and we hope to deliver the ship to the Navy on time," Subramaniam said. The 40,000 tonne carrier is expected to be commissioned to the Navy in 2017. It was undocked for the first time in June this year and launched in August. It is expected to undergo extensive sea trials in 2016. One of the most important factors about this ship is that it is being constructed almost entirely with indigenous steel, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and made by SAIL. The high quality steel for its flight deck was built by the Alloy Steel Plant (ASP) in Durgapur. "This is a major point. When the carrier was planned we wanted to import steel from Russia but they started making demands that we could not meet. This is when it was decided to develop the steel indigenously and we actually succeeded. This was a major step towards indigenization and goes to show that we can achieve a lot by ourselves. Even private players are now joining the fray. The steel for the ICGS Anmol was supplied by Essar. The concept of indigenisation is now opening up new avenues for industry," the CMD told TOI. Basically, three kinds of steel are being used to build the aircraft carrier. One is the DMR 249 Grade A that went towards making the hull and other parts of the infrastructure. DMR 249 Grade B, developed by ASP, is being used for the flight deck. This steel has spring back qualities. Another variety of steel that is being used for the machine room is DMR 249 Grade AZ25. This steel has compressibility of well beyond 25 per cent that is required to handle the heavy load that the machine room will undergo. The flight deck of INS Vikrant can carry 19 aircraft while the hangers inside will have the capacity for 17 more fighters. The aircraft carrier will have two take-off runways and a landing strip with three arrester wires, capable of operating STOBAR aircraft including the Mig-29K and indigenous LCA, as well as a range of helicopters.