The INS Vikrant comes into full service in 2018, and makes India the fifth nation to have designed and built its own aircraft carrier, pushing ahead of China to join an elite club that includes Britain, France, Russia and the United States.
"It's a remarkable milestone," Defence Minister A.K. Antony said as he stood in front of the giant grey hull of the ship at a ceremony in the southern city of Kochi. "It marks just a first step in a long journey but at the same time an important one."
The ship, which will be fitted with weaponry and machinery and then tested over the next four years, has a flight deck more than twice the size of a football field.