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India launches new aircraft carrier

India has launched its first home-built aircraft carrier, marking another milestone in its efforts to bolster its sea-going presence.

Defense Minister A.K. Antony said it needs a strong navy to defend itself, and that it will press ahead with developing its maritime capabilities.

India joins the US, Britain, Russia, and France in building its own carrier. The carrier was launched at the Kochi shipyard in southern Kerala state, but it still needs to be outfitted and extensive trials held before it is inducted into the Indian navy in 2018.

India has steadily built up its naval capabilities in recent years, spurred by its rivalry with neighboring China.

On Saturday, India activated an atomic reactor for an indigenously built nuclear submarine.

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