Navy plans nuke-powered carrier

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by Ray, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Navy plans nuke-powered carrier

    SUJAN DUTTA


    [​IMG]
    INS Viraat, the lone aircraft carrier in use now, in Mumbai on Tuesday.

    New Delhi, Dec. 3: The Indian Navy is designing a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that it wants in its fleet, costs permitting.

    An indigenous nuclear-powered submarine, the Arihant, is now in trials in the Bay of Bengal.

    The Indian Navy “desires” to have three operational carriers in its fleet but the only one in use currently, the INS Viraat, is rusting away faster than it would like.

    “The INS Viraat is ‘long in the tooth’ (outdated and too expensive to maintain),” the chief of naval staff, Admiral D.K. Joshi, said here today.

    Naval headquarters is gradually beginning to take the view that the ship will have to be decommissioned before the planned end of its extended tenure in service.

    The 55-year-old carrier has had several refits that have cost the defence budget heavily.

    The navy commissioned the INS Vikramaditya (formerly the Gorshkov) in Russia last month. The carrier, now on its way to India, will take about six months after berthing in Karwar on the west coast to be made fully operational. It is expected in Indian waters in January.

    Only the US Navy operates two or more aircraft carriers — always nuclear-powered — in Asia. The importance of aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean region is right now a matter of focus for strategists after China commissioned its own, the Liaoning, earlier this year.

    China also announced last week that it was imposing an air defence identification zone in the East China Sea, over waters disputed by Japan and South Korea. Aircraft carriers are the naval platform-of-choice for “sea control”.

    The Indian Navy will take a final call on its proposed 65,000-tonne nuclear-powered carrier after studying the experiences of the UK and France.

    Naval headquarters has set itself a deadline of two months in which to freeze the design. Nuclear propulsion would give the vessel a longer life but the reactor is expensive to build.

    But India has fitted an 80MW reactor, with Russian help, into the Arihant submarine. Nuclear propulsion also provides longer endurance and therefore capability to deploy the vessel farther for extended periods.

    The UK abandoned the idea of nuclear propulsion for its Queen Elizabeth II carrier, now being built for its Royal Navy, because of the costs involved. France is the only country barring the US that has built a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier on its own, the Charles de Gaulle.

    The other decision, apart from the propulsion, that the naval design department is yet to freeze is whether the second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-2) should have Catobar (catapult assisted take-off barrier arrested recovery) like the US carriers or a flight deck for short take-off and arrested recovery (Stobar).

    The 65,000-tonne IAC-2, tentatively named the Vishal, follows the Vikrant, or IAC-1, a conventional diesel-gas powered 44,700-tonne vessel being built in Kochi.

    The Viraat, the only operational carrier with the navy currently, is planned to be in service till 2017 when the Vikrant is scheduled for commissioning. The Vikrant was floated out of the dry dock in Kochi in August this year.

    Navy plans nuke-powered carrier

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    Apparently, the Indian Navy is fast tracking its sea denial and sea control posture.

    With a nuclear power aircraft carrier, it will be a sea change in endurance and reach.

    The issue to note is that conventionally powered carriers spend less time in extended maintenance. Thus, they can provide more
    forward presence coverage. The nuclear carriers can. on the other hand, store larger quantities of aviation fuel and munitions and, as a result, are less dependent upon at-sea replenishment.

    One issue that must be borne in mind is that a second hand equipment is what the naval Chief said - Long in the tooth!
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Vikrant on e-auction, Eagle sad

    OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
    Mumbai, Dec. 3: Over 16 years after its decommissioning, the aircraft carrier Vikrant is all set to be on sale in an e-auction by the defence ministry later this month. And no one is sadder than the Grey Eagle.

    Confirming reports that the Indian Museum Ship (IMS) Vikrant would now be auctioned, Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, the flag officer commanding-in-chief of Western Naval Command, said: “It is sad, but true. The e-auctioning process has been initiated.”

    Speaking to reporters on board INS Viraat on the eve of Navy Day, Vice Admiral Sinha said: “Personally, I am sad as I was among the last officers to have flown on board Vikrant.”

    Decorated as the Grey Eagle — the longest serving naval aviator — Sinha was also part of the historic formal handover of the new, refurbished aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya by Russia last month.

    The navy had continued to manage the Vikrant after it was decommissioned in 1997 and re-christened as an Indian Museum Ship to be preserved as a permanent museum berthed off the Mumbai coast.

    “But now the state government has made it clear that they cannot support her further. So, the MoD (ministry of defence) has decided to put her up for auction,” said an emotional Sinha.

    MSTC Ltd, a subsidiary of SAIL, initiated the e-auctioning process last month. The ship has been kept open for inspections by prospective bidders at Vikrant Jetty in the naval dockyard from November 26 to December 14.

    Bidders have been asked to deposit a pre-bid earnest deposit of Rs 3.10 crore. The final bid for IMS Vikrant will open on the MSTC e-commerce bidding site at noon on December 18 and close the same day at 4pm.

    The 1943 British-built Royal Navy ship HMS Hercules was sold to India in 1957, and was commissioned by the Indian Navy as INS Vikrant in 1961. It played a pivotal role in the 1971 India-Pakistan war and was decommissioned after 36 years of service.

    It had been decided to permanently berth IMS Vikrant off Oyster Rock near the Radio Club near the Gateway of India in South Mumbai.

    Maharashtra Urban Infrastructure Development Company Ltd was chosen as the agency to implement the maritime museum project in 2008. However, over the years, the project ran into rough weather.

    In the past few years, the navy would open the ship to visitors, especially schoolchildren, on special occasions. But now its fate is uncertain, and the ship could well head for a scrapyard.

    Asked about her fate, Vice Admiral Sinha said: “You would have to ask the bidders.”

    He, however, hoped that a bidder could convert the ship into a museum.

    If a bidder does convert it into a museum, Vice Admiral Sinha said, the Indian Navy would provide all possible help because of Vikrant’s sheer “emotional value”.

    Vikrant on e-auction, Eagle sad
     
  4. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    If Vijay Mallaya was not so in so many problems he wouldve bought it and hosted parties on it I think :p
     

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