Aircraft Carriers and India’s Naval Doctrine

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by TrueSpirit, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Here's a case in favour of Aircraft Carriers; a 5-year old paper written by IDSA

    Aircraft Carriers and India’s Naval Doctrine | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

    It emphasizes the utility/relevance of Aircraft Carriers & counters every argument against it.

    The paper ends with the conclusion

    Given the aforesaid considerations, prima facie, the imperative of including carriers in its naval doctrine far outweighs its cost, both financial and operational. It is important to remember that many of the arguments against the carrier mentioned in this paper were used even before World War II. The statistics of the war pertaining to allied forces later disputed these – in comparison to 11 per cent carriers, the allies lost 18 per cent
    battleships, 33 per cent cruisers, 36 per cent frigates, 21 per cent sloops and 37 per cent submarines. The post-Cold War global trends of carrier acquisitions are instructive. Despite the fact that only Indian and British carriers went into action in the Cold War-era, France, Italy,
    Spain and Thailand did not hesitate to acquire carriers. Like India, China is another major regional power. With the exception of its maritime-territorial claims in the western Pacific, China’s emerging vital interests are likely to be similar to those of India. Although China has not yet operationalised a carrier, it is more due to geo-strategic compulsions specific to it, rather than for any reason applicable in Indian context. Furthermore, while such compulsions are likely to persist in the foreseeable future, Beijing has maintained a long-term vision to acquire carriers and has also been working towards it, such as in terms of formal induction in January 2007 of the old Soviet Varyag as Shilang (hull no 83) and the ongoing negotiations with Russia to procure the carrier-capable SU-33 naval aircraft. In the US, the debate was not about the need of carriers, but their optimum numbers to support its global interests. Likewise, the debate in India must be on the number and size of its
    carriers, rather than on the platform per se.

    Have a look.

    Veterans, experts, enthusiasts & fanboys can share their views on how relevant or irrelevant is an Aircraft Carrier for India's maritime security & overall defense preparedness.
     
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  3. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    it's not about the carrier per se , it's about what equipment systems the carrier is carrying - for example:- a carrier carrying a superior set of missile systems , i.e. better range and better speeds will make easy meat of the one carrying inferior systems . ( there are examples of other systems ) ....The size and number of carriers per se ( as the article you quoted seems to suggest ) comes as a very distant second to the quantity of truly quality systems which are loaded onto the carriers, imho !
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  4. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Very valid perspective. Definitely, quality always prevails over quantity.

    However, as some Chinese revolutionary in 20th century said, quantity has a quality of its own.

    Nevertheless, I do not subscribe to this theory because it comes from some autocrat who considered ordinary humans as cannon-fodder.

    Furthermore, this article's scope is restricted to justify how carrier's are still relevant in the contemporary maritime environment, dominated by super-agile AShM's & stealth SSN. It seeks to put an end to this debate by countering all popular arguments against the relevance of carriers. The rest (quality vs. quantity) is something that article does not covers or delves into, as you might have got the impression by jumping direct to conclusion section (which is my fault because I shared only that text).
    Still, in case you are interested, you can click on the URL at the top.
     
  5. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    thanks for your comments

    the quantity-quality debate is a valid an interesting one and i personally hold value that quantity is something to be valued besides quality but it is a tricky issue and depends greatly on the specifics of what is being discussed

    so i wont get into that quantity - quality debate here

    what i wanted to impress on this forum was that an AC is a sitting duck - if it doesn't carry highly capable missile defence systems and that in iteslf is a technology which is very far from perfect nor even at an acceptable level

    so that with just ONE relatively inexpensive submarine equipped with very good, top class missiles eg the enhanced forms of Brahmos or hypersonic missile - i can puncture some very serious holes into your very expensive AC which may be hundreds of miles in the open ocean -far from your original land - and there goes your "Titanic" AC - equipment and all - and your planes may not have enough fuel ( which has to be shared with others ) to make it safely back home - not to speak of all the other personnel and expensive equipment - and of course the AC itself !
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  6. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Of course, SAM's, CIWS, Anti-missle defences etc. (Sea Sparrow, Barak etc.) can never be fool proof.

    However, an AC design takes that into account & despite all the hoopla around highly-advertised Carrier-Killers everyday, it is not easy to seriously damage a Nimitz or Charles de Gaulle class of AC. Further, the whole flotilla of surface & sub-surface combatants, destroyers armed with batteries of long-range cruise missiles, guided-missile frigates, minesweepers, sub-hunting corverttes, hunter-killer Subs (SSN, mostly) are around, only to ensure that the possibility of a projectile hitting the AC is completely ruled out in the first place.

    Though, with current level of technology, temporary immobilization is a distinct possibility that cannot be ruled out.

    But then, With Aegis-class systems gaining popularity & getting increasingly accessible, the offensive hammer of an AC gets so much brute strength & such long legs that potential threats at seemingly far distances can be engaged with absolute ease, precision & debilitating firepower.

    In today's networked battlefield with real-time intelligence being relayed from military satellites to the AC fleet, it become quite hard to successfully hit a well-defended AC (whose whole focus, in turn, is on offensive through its complement of air-arm), that seeks to neutralize all threats across land, air, sea even before they have armed themselves for a strike. Well, this holds more validity for a Blue-water naval fleet than anyone else (& RuN, of course).
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
    Abhi9 likes this.

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