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Indian Navy to get new aircraft-carrier in 2021: Vice Admiral A.K. Saxena 

Timesnownews.com , Jul 08, 2019

The Indian Navy will get a new aircraft-carrier in early 2021, a year and a half from now, Vice Admiral A.K. Saxena said today.

The Navy, down to one carrier, the Russian-built INS Vikramaditya, once Admiral Gorshkov, has always aspired to be a two-carrier fleet, with one operating out of the Arabian Sea and the other, the Bay of Bengal. With the INS Viraat, once HMS Hermes, retired a couple of years ago, the Navy has been looking for another carrier.

The new carrier is likely to begin sea-trials early next year and is expected to join the fleet the year after. But the Navy is also looking at another carrier, to be built at the Cochin Shipyard, the first carrier to be built in India.

While the government has cleared the project, in principle, the budgetary allocation is yet to be made, the vice-admiral, Controller, Warship Production and Acquisition, said. He was replying to questions about the debate within the defence establishment about the use of land-based aircraft or another carrier. He mentioned that it will be a carrier, but decisions about its structure were being taken.

The other important issue relates to the necessary warplanes for the carrier. The INS Vikramaditya uses the MiG-29K fighters. What the Navy would want for the first carrier is yet to be decided. A carrier usually carries a complement of fighters and helicopters, the numbers depending on the size. The new carrier (INS Vikrant or Indigenous Aircraft carrier 1) is likely to be about 40,000 tonnes and a complement of 40 fighters and helicopters can be assumed. But fighters are expensive, the most expensive part of the carrier's complement.

The old Vikrant, once with the Royal Navy, was decommissioned in the late Nineties. It saw action in the 1972 Indo-Pak war. The Viraat saw action in the Falklands war: she was HMS Hermes then, with Prince Andrew a part of the crew.

 

 

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