Indian Navy to look for a Larger Aircraft Carrier

The Indian Navy will continue to research a third indigenous aircraft carrier that will be larger than the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC)-2 in order to maintain its operational capabilities in the future. The Navy has already confirmed that the IAC-2 will be built along the lines of the IAC-1, which was commissioned as INS Vikrant.

Indian Navy Chief’s Statement

Admiral R Hari Kumar confirmed, “Initially, we will go for a repeat order with improved capabilities, and in the meantime, we will study larger carriers.” Because the third aircraft will arrive, and by the time it is commissioned, the life of INS Vikramaditya may be over.” On the sidelines of Aero India 2023, he spoke with the media.

Previously, the Chief of Naval Staff stated that “the IAC-2 should be larger in size than the IAC-1.” “The INS Vikrant weighs 44,000 tonnes, and we wanted the IAC-2 to weigh around 65,000 tonnes.” The decision to renew the IAC-1 order is based on a variety of factors, including construction time, cost, and the trajectory of aviation asset indigenization. “It will take time and new technologies to design a new aircraft carrier because the current arresting, landing through catapult system is being changed now,” said Admiral Hari Kumar. To accommodate the new design, the ship-building facility will need to be upgraded.

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“Operationally, new technologies and drones that can be launched from the carrier are being developed to enhance operational capabilities.” “The Indian Navy requires three aircraft carriers because ship maintenance takes time,” he added. Aircraft carriers are notorious for having extensive maintenance schedules. The maintenance cycle can cause a carrier to be unavailable for years, as has been the case with the refit of India’s lone Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya, which began in early 2021 and is still ongoing. It was postponed due to a fire onboard in July.

With one aircraft carrier still in maintenance and another on the way, the Indian Navy will be without one for some time. The Navy has kept the three-carrier force structure in place so that it can operate two of them in maritime zones on either side of the Indian coastline — the eastern and western coasts. INS Vikramaditya was originally a Russian carrier commissioned in 2013 after a total refurbishment. The airfield on the 44,500-tonne INS Vikramaditya is approximately 284 meters long. According to TNIE, the Navy completed all documentation work on the repeat orders in December, and approvals from the government are expected soon.

Also read: All You Need To Know About INS Viraat – The Grand Old Lady.

According to the Navy Chief, the timeline would correspond to India’s push for self-reliance, including the goal of indigenizing the aviation complex, and it could coincide with the production of the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF). The TEDBF is being designed for the Navy, and HAL officials claim it will be ready for commissioning by 2032. Even if a decision on the carrier is made today, it will take more than a year to begin the manufacturing process, according to defence sources.

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Siddhant Sandhu

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