Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lofty goals for India, and it seems to be working out perfectly.

The country has just commissioned its first home-built aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, seeking to counter China’s development. The ship costs $3 billion and is about 262-meter long, and has a 62.4-meter broad flight deck. With the Vikrant, India stands along with the small number of nations to own more than one aircraft carrier in service, coming in third, after UK and China.

Modi said during the ceremony at Cochin Shipyard that India’s the kind of nation that makes the impossible possible.

“The goal may be difficult. The challenges may be big. But when India makes up its mind, no goal is impossible.”

“‘Till now, this type of aircraft carrier was made only by developed countries. Today, India by entering this league has taken one more step towards becoming a developed nation.”

Modi added that the country’s defense still focuses on providing “major security” for its citizens.

INS Vikramaditya
Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, former Gorshkov (Source: gorbatuy111/Wikimedia)

The Vikrant joins the INS Vikramaditya, a refurbished Soviet-era carrier from Russia bought by India in 2004. However, compared to the Vikramaditya, the Vikrant is smaller.

However, analysts are already praising its potential firepower. John Bradford, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, said the Vikrant is a symbol of India’s “long-term vision to maintaining a world-class naval force.”