Boost to Indian Navy’s capabilities! ‘Indigenous Aircraft Carrier on track, Navy to get 170 ships by 2027’

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Updated: November 22, 2021 5:13 PM

At a media interaction in New Delhi on Tuesday, Vice Chief of Naval Staff SN Ghormade talked about the complex maritime environment, since there are more players involved.

Indigenous Aircraft CarrierPresently, Indian Navy is operating INS Vikramaditya, which is 45,000 tonnes and is the modified Russian Admiral Gorshkov.

The second indigenous aircraft carrier has been budgeted for in the Indian Navy’s Maritime Capability Perspective Plan (MCPP). At a media interaction in New Delhi on Tuesday, Vice Chief of Naval Staff SN Ghormade talked about the complex maritime environment, since there are more players involved.

IAC Vs Submarines. Another IAC required?

Yes. According to Vice Admiral Ghormade, “To make a balanced force, platforms like maritime patrol aircraft, aircraft carriers or submarines are required. They all have different capabilities and definite roles in the waters.” In the new MCPP, all have been taken into consideration while making budgetary allocations for projects.

Has budgetary allocation been made for IAC-II? Yes. According to a source, for IAC-II allcations have been made.

Ships Force of the Indian Navy

Some timelines have been changed for the Navy’s plan to get 170 ships in its fleets, as the plan was to get them by 2027. Earlier, the Indian Navy had planned to have around 200 ships however it has been revised to around 170.

“The MCPP for the next 15 years is in the process of being revised. It will be ready by 2022 and is going to be in line with the 10-year Integrated Capability Development Plan (ICDP),” said the Vice Chief. Adding, “For service integration, the ICDP is being formulated by the Department of Military Affairs (DMA).”

He was responding to a question related to the Pakistan Navy commissioning the latest Chinese Type 054A/P frigate last week, and the increased presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean Region.

How many Aircraft does the Indian Navy need?

Three is the number which has been Indian Navy’s plan for several years now. This is to ensure that there is one each on the eastern and western seaboards, and the third one could be under maintenance.

As has been reported by the Financial Express Online earlier, the design and development is ready and the project will be rolled out soon. So far the Indian Navy has just one aircraft carrier compared to China which is in the process of commissioning its third aircraft carrier.

Presently, Indian Navy is operating INS Vikramaditya, which is 45,000 tonnes and is the modified Russian Admiral Gorshkov.

The Navy is expected to take delivery of the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier in April 2022 and it will be commissioned in August 2022 as INS Vikrant. This has been built by the state-owned Cochin Shipyard Limited and is 40,000 tonnes.

Emerging Technologies on IAC-II

After the Sea Guardian Drones, the Indian Navy is expected to get the EMALS for IAC-II from the US based General Atomics.

The IAC-II is a decade away. However the design and development has already started. The Indian Navy has selected the US General Atomics Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) for its second aircraft carrier, IAC II, which should be operational in about 10 years.

The Indian Navy has chosen the EMALS and the accompanying technology of Advanced Arresting Gear which is meant for recovering landing aircraft on board the aircraft carrier.

These emerging technologies have been identified keeping in mind the future warfare and requirements and will replace the old technologies. These two technologies are available only with the US based company and are already onboard the US Navy’s nuclear powered aircraft carrier, Gerald Ford (CVN 78).

The 65,000 tonnes IAC-II will have electric propulsion, as it is considered to be an efficient and economical solution. Indian Navy’s Shivalik Class is already using the electric propulsion and has US General Electric’s high power GE 2500 LM gas turbine engines on board.

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