The Navy today said it has set a target of 2018 for inducting its first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) and is “seriously considering” about having a second such ship.
Indian navy has set the target of having 212 ships in its fleet by 2027 which will be a “real challenge” and there is a need to work “very hard” for it, Vice Admiral (Controller Warship Production and Acquisition) G S Pabby told reporters.
The government is seriously considering IAC-2 and it is in “concept” stage, he said.
The Information Exchange Annex signed between India and the US will benefit the navy in its IAC-1 project, Pabby said.
“Since the Americans have a good experience as they have commissioned a large number of ships, we are hoping that we will draw from their experience,” the senior navy officer said.
For getting technologies available with the US, an agreement and protocol for sharing information — maintaining its confidentiality and integrity — was needed to be signed. The Information Exchange Annex is that protocol.
Since then, a team of senior US Navy officials has visited the shipyard at Cochin last month to help with some issues in the IAC-1.
Contracts for transfer of technology about the Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMV) or minesweepers should be signed soon, he said.
“It is moving very well. We are monitoring it very closely because we badly need these ships. We have finalised almost all issues related to transfer of technology from the foreign collaborators and that contract should be signed very soon,” he said.
When asked about the Landing Platform Docks (LDP) for the Indian Navy, the Vice Admiral said the technical evaluation has been carried out for the project and there are some issues about capacity assessment, which is also in final stages.