A blue water marine and new aircraft carriers are being built quickly in China. The Indian Navy is now vehemently pushing its long-standing commitment to a third and far larger aircraft carrier to maintain its fighting edge in the Indian Ocean (IOR) region in order to counter the US and project influence around the world.
With the 45,000-ton INS Vicrant set to become India’s first domestic aircraft carrier (IAK), As it will take at least ten years to develop a 65,000-ton launcher, the Navy feels the project for a third rocket should begin as soon as feasible on September 2.
The military has long insisted that three carriers are operational in order to guarantee that at least two are in service, one for each of the east and west coasts, while the third goes through its maintenance and conversion cycle.
In any case, India has been without an operational aircraft carrier for nearly two years as a result of the 44,500-tonner INS Vikramadity, which Russia purchased in November 2013 for US$2.33 billion, being extensively overhauled.
“By constructing the IAC, the indigenous ecology was developed. In order to ensure that the knowledge acquired is utilised to its fullest in future times, the stage is now prepared for taking the next step and self-constructing the next aircraft carrier, according to Navy Deputy Vice Admiral Satish N. Ghormade on Thursday.
Once completely combat-ready by the middle of 2023, INS Vikrant will contribute to maintaining peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region. The opening of the airline, he continued, “would strengthen our marine capabilities and provide the deterrence required given the expanding power of our neighbours.”
Cochin Shipyard (CSL) is eager for the upcoming launcher project after completing the Rs. 20,000 IAC, which took 13 years from keel laying to delivery after gaining government permission back in January 2003.
“Now, assuming we obtain the go-ahead, we can construct a warship resembling the IAC in eight years. By 2024, when we expect to have a new 310-meter dry dock, we will be able to construct even a 65,000 tonne ship.
Although the Navy and the Department of Defense are “consulting” over the projected IAC-2, the general consensus is that the new launcher needs to be at least 65,000 tonnes in weight to provide the necessary combat capability and cost-effectiveness. By doing this, the airline can operate more aircraft than the 30 allowed by the IAC.
The IAC-2 should also be equipped with the CATOBAR configuration (Catapult Assisted Launch But Halted Recovery) so that it can launch fighters as well as larger aircraft from its deck for electronic warfare, early warning, and surveillance. Only angled ski jumps are available at INS Vikramaditya and IAC, allowing fighters to take off on their own during STOBAR (Short Take-Off but Arrested Recovery) operations.
Liaoning and Shandong are the two airlines that China now runs, and two more airlines with CATOBAR design are being built quickly. The 80,000-ton Fujian, the third airline in China, “launched” in June. Of fact, the US possesses 11 “super” carriers with 100,000 tonne nuclear power and 80 to 90 fighters and aircraft on each.