Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval power

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by Daredevil, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    As one of the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Region (APR), India possesses a commensurate military capability, one of the main components of which is the country's naval forces. Today, India shows all the signs of being a first-class naval power with a nuclear submarine fleet and carrier aviation. Neither is astonishing in terms of scale, yet the trends and construction programmes indicate that, although far short of marine supremacy in the APR (unthinkable in the near future while the U.S. still draws breath), India's claim to being on equal terms with China's growing maritime prowess is valid.

    Given that the main arena of military confrontation in the APR is the vast expanse of the Indian and Pacific oceans, India's aircraft carrier programme is of crucial importance to the country, alongside its nuclear and air force programmes. India possesses half a century of uninterrupted experience of carrier aviation, and its newly adopted programme entails the commissioning over a 15-year period of three aircraft carriers, two of which are to be built in India itself. These three carriers will enable the Indian Navy to maintain two aircraft carrier groups in a permanent state of combat readiness.

    Russia's focus on Indian carriers

    For India's armed forces, the first half of the 2000s was marked by the arrival in its arsenal of the Su-30: the Su-30KN "interim" version was followed by the fully-fledged Su-30MKI with the very latest avionics and powerful weaponry. These truly versatile planes, equally effective at dog-fighting and attacking ground targets with precision weapons, radically altered the Indian military's perception of what is possible in modern aviation.

    At the same time, the Indian Navy, which already had successful experience of operating Soviet warships, submarines, and helicopters, became interested in Russia's proposals to overhaul the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier in line with India’s requirements and to supply MiG-29K fighters.

    Indian admirals adopted a hard line on defence: the idea of ​​replacing the 20,000-tonne Vikrant and the 29,000-tonne Virat with ships almost half their size was not to their liking. Nevertheless, the design of a new aircraft carrier capable of carrying 12-15 aircraft got underway, although the fleet did manage to up the displacement to 17,000 metric tonnes.

    In layman's language, the term "aircraft carrier" generally implies a multirole vessel capable of carrying aircraft, while the word "indigenous" in this context refers to a national project of top priority that is mostly implemented internally.

    The project in question, however, does involve foreign experts, since India is not yet capable of independently engineering a ship of such complexity. Officially, India does not recognize the foreign provenance of the vessel, but the press has reported the participation of Italy's Fincantieri.

    Russia’s involvement is also tacitly assumed, namely MiG Aircraft Corporation, supplier of next-generation fighters to the Indian Navy, and Nevskoe PKB, developer of Soviet aircraft carriers with experience of refitting carriers for the MiG-29K.

    Super carriers and dreams of maritime supremacy

    In the summer of 2012, India began work on a second aircraft carrier under its IAC programme. The INS Vishal is due to follow the Vikramaditya and the new Vikrant into service in the early 2020s. It will be much larger than both its sister vessels. The displacement of the Vishal will exceed 65,000 metric tonnes, against the 40,000 metric tonnes of its two predecessors. In 2010, Chief of Staff of the Indian Navy Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma announced that the future ship would be a "large aircraft carrier capable of hosting fighters, AWACS aircraft, [tactical flying] tankers, and other hardware."

    The technical specification automatically does away with STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery), adopted for the Vikramaditya and the new Vikrant, because the deployment of flying radars and tankers on board requires a fully operational CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) system, functionally similar to the U.S. super carriers and France's Charles de Gaulle. But it is not ruled out that the vessel will feature a combined scheme: the ramp in the bow will be supplemented by a catapult on the corner deck, as contained in the blueprint of the unfinished Soviet Ulyanovsk.

    Such a ship would transform India into an aircraft carrier superpower: even Britain, for example, cannot afford CATOBAR. Looking ahead to the potential of the Indian Navy on completion of the program, we can draw the following conclusions:

    India's already overwhelming naval superiority over Pakistan, whose forces are being degraded, will turn into absolute supremacy.

    Even in its current form, India's aircraft carrier programme looks more ambitious than China's, which (at least for now) relies on refitting the Liaoning aircraft carrier (the former Varyag) with J-15 fighters (pirated from the Su-33). The availability of two 40,000-tonne carriers capable of hosting more than 40 MiG-29Ks (nominally 16 per ship) and approximately 20 helicopters gives the Indian Navy a significant advantage over the 60,000-tonne Liaoning with 18-20 J-15s (nominally 12 maximum). Accommodating more aircraft on board the Chinese carrier poses difficulties: like the Su-33, the J-15 is heavy and sizeable. Moreover, the superior strike capability of the Chinese jet is neutralized by the larger number of Indian fighters, as well as the higher-grade workmanship of the Indian Navy's Russian-built escort vessels.

    In possession of a third aircraft carrier with a displacement of over 60,000 tonnes and with a more numerous air group (up to 40 MiG-29K class Rafale and Tejas aircraft), India will secure at least parity, and possibly superiority, even if the Chinese Navy puts into service three ships armed with J-15s. The balance of power will shift only if China either introduces a more carrier-based (compared to the Su-33/J-15) fighter, which is no trivial matter, or constructs a carrier in the mould of the U.S. 100,000-tonners, capable of carrying a large group of heavy fighters. The second option, besides the greater technical complexity, will invariably provoke a strong reaction from the U.S., making a military alliance with India almost inevitable. As a result, China will either settle for equilibrium with India, or prepare for full-scale open confrontation at sea with the world's leading military power.

    The writer is a military commentator for the Voice of Russia and an expert of the Russian Council for International Affairs

    Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval power | Russia & India Report
     
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  3. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    "Global naval power" :pound: :rofl: India first needs to find a way to deal with the current 60+ and rapidly growing Chinese submarine force. A couple of aircraft carriers, that too built with reliance on foreign designs and manufacturing expertise doesn't make anyone a "global naval power". In a naval war that stretches for a few months, the Chinese can easily sink the Indian Navy while rapidly replacing their own losses with indigenously designed ships and subs.

    Indian shipyards on the other hand take 3-4 times longer and charge much more to build relatively inferior quality ships. Not to mention replacing a sunk aircraft carrier with a new one would probably take them half a decade by which time there might be no IN to sell it to. :lol:

    Seriously, until India develops its manufacturing capability and supply chain efficiency, it has no hope of competing with China. China is far far ahead and is a true industrial power, unlike India.
     
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  4. lookieloo

    lookieloo Regular Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    Uhhh... CATOBAR? Tejas? Mig-29K?
     
  5. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    India lacks numbers in submarine fleet, this is a major concern that needs a definite & immediate attention, just mare having big 2/3 air craft carriers will not going to help in power projections... The aircraft carriers are venerable without a creditable air defense & accompanying killer / hunter submarines...

    Each battle group needs to have 4-5 accompanying nuclear power attack submarine to make a potent force to reckon with...
    India need immediate investment in building yards for submarine and off the shelf purchases…
     
  6. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    though most of your statements are true there are differences in requirements of navies of India vs china.
    while India has minimal or less interest in pacific ocean and little in south-china sea, china have crucial interests to guard in Indian ocean.so we don't need to match china 1 on 1.
    second Chinese military hardware are not UN-beatable.


    what are the possibilities of India going for another JV with another nation for next generation ship building??
     
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  7. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    As per wiki, it seems China has bought the rights to replicate the Soviet Ulyanovsk. :confused:

    Soviet aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

     
  8. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    i think you meant VULNERABLE ....instead of venerable ? obviously !

    .... i believe im gonna be proven right when ive been saying for quite some time now that the AC represents an outmoded model of conventional warfare, that is being beaten by naval "guerrilla " strategies .......much like guerrilla warfare ( as exemplified by the Viets in the 1970's ) had "beaten" the US strategy of conventional warfare ( of course i believe the US was deliberately operating at 10 % of their capacity , so they weren't "beaten" - but that is another story )

    the AC is a sitting duck - even with the protection that is expected to be assigned to it especially in this day and age of naval hypersonic missiles

    Instead, nuke-powered subs armed with ICBM's is the guerrilla form of naval warfare and china knows this and has quite a few of them ?

    we should spend our resources on the same - even the japs way back in WW2 built a long-range sub capable of launching long-range aircraft and we indians of the 21st century are doing AC's ?? :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
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  9. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    without decent shipbuilding industry and military complex, India can not become a real navy power...
    the bought navy fleet is doomed to be a one-off fleet and can not be resupplied and maintained in a real war.


    only those industrilazed countries with full military chains and decent shipbuilding industry can keep its fleet well maintained and expand its fleet if necessary during the war.

    that is why Brazil and Agitina failed to become navy power while USA took the place of UK....
     
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  10. Bheeshma

    Bheeshma Regular Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    The chinese subs are a joke. But IN has far to go to be a naval power. First step would be for shipyards to deliver on time.
     
  11. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    I do not see Indians going out 1000's miles away un like USA for any future war like situation... then only one need a CBG's... India may have at most 1-2 CBG's not 4/5 CBG's as reported in some sections of news reporting if they are at all correct...

    Personally I will prefer a concept of sea denial to enemy with large numbers of nuclear powered submarines larking in deep waters capable of disrupting commercial activity through the sea lanes and as well has attacking naval ships from enemy...

    With the upcoming naval port in Nicobar & Andaman islands India will pretty much will cover the most part to the west to the Malacca straits an important commercial sea lane. A large numbers of surface ships like of frigates & destroyers will be more than handful.
     
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  12. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    but they got them in serious numbers.even though India got super duper hyper subs and frigates they can not target enemy ships spread over a large area.you need numbers too
     
  13. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    wait and see India will develop >5cbgs in future.IOR is strategically very important place and we have a large coast to gaurd
     
  14. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    I do not think India needs 5 CBG's to control the IOR reagion... too costly to maintain and in case of a tatical nuke attack on it will prove vernarable...
     
  15. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    The Age of the manned carrier has started to wane, what we need is smaller faster drone carriers carrying stealthy strike drones, complemented by near silent long endurance submarines with long range anti-shipping missiles!
     
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  16. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    Long endurance un manned stealth drones flying for picking up enemy targets and relaying the target co ordinate to nuclear power subs for the kill... The ultra high radio frequency signals that can be picked up by subs while still underneath the water...
     
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  17. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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  18. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    hi there bose ...are you really bengali ....very great folks ...one of my favorite besides mallu !!! hehheheheh
    i agree with you wholeheartedly about sea denial via anything except CBG bcos the heart of it all, the AC is the biggest problem AFAIK
    anyway india is making progress per your info about andaman ...so im glad
     
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  19. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    YOU ARE ABS CORRECT and that's where we need to take a really good 2nd look- quantity !!!!!

    please please apply that to the tejas - think carefully -

    THE ANSWER will make india strong !!!!!
     
  20. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    Re: Indian aircraft carrier programme: The makings of a global naval p

    Lord help us - ...... that's what iv'e been saying all all along .... - india PLEASE stop building AC's

    it's time for something better ........ a la bengalraider !!!
     

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