Britain may sell its Aircraft Carrier to India

Quickgun Murugan

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MoD may sell aircraft carrier to India | Politics | The Observer



One of Britain's new £2bn aircraft carriers could be sold off under cost-cutting plans being considered by the Ministry of Defence. India has lodged a firm expression of interest,
the Observer has learned.

The sale of one of the two 65,000-tonne vessels would leave the Royal Navy with a single carrier and could force Britain to borrow from the French fleet, which itself has only one carrier and is reluctant to build more. Last summer the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, proposed to Gordon Brown that the two navies co-ordinate maintenance and refitting so that one was at sea at all times.

According to senior defence sources, Whitehall officials are examining the feasibility of a sale as part of the strategic defence review that will start early next year and is expected to result in savage cuts.

The carrier programme has already been delayed by two years to push back spending commitments, which itself will end up costing the taxpayer more in the long run. BAE Systems began work in July on HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is due to come into service in 2016. Preparatory work on the Prince of Wales, due for launch in 2018, has also started. The two carriers will replace the ageing Invincible class and are three times the size.

There were fears that the government could scrap one altogether. But it is understood that the financial penalties would be prohibitive. About 10,000 jobs in Portsmouth, Barrow-in-Furness, Fife and Glasgow depend on the orders.
 

Vladimir79

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So India is going to pay $5-6 billion dollars (don't forget inflation) for a carrier that isn't (realistically) coming out until 2020? They are going to spend that much on one without catapults? They are going to buy foreign carriers when they will have mastered their own?

Conclusion --- I think not!
 

bhramos

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This wouldn't go through,
as UK sells for high price, as we dont have good deals for IN with RN in recent past.
if they would sell, they could have sold RN Invincible with Harrier planes.
 

tarunraju

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The ramp isn't that steep. There are tracks in the runway till the edge of the ramp. That could be a steam catapult.



Yep, there seems to be a catapult in place. Red line marks the shorter runway. If it's that short, there's no way aircraft can take off the ramp alone.
 

bhramos

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RN is going with F-35B so why do they need catapult?
until then with harriers.
 

Vladimir79

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The ramp isn't that steep. There are tracks in the runway till the edge of the ramp. That could be a steam catapult.



Yep, there seems to be a catapult in place.
That option of catapult depends on choice of F-35 STOBAR or CATOBAR. When RN initially decided, they wanted F-35B which would kill the catapult. The order may have changed since they cut it from 138 to 50 planes. There was talk of going to F-35C last month, but nothing decided. I'm sure if India asked regardless they could get it, add $500,000,000 to the price tag. Kind of hard to do without nuklear power steam too. There is no way India is going to go for it, regardless.
 

tarunraju

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RN is going with F-35B so why do they need catapult?
until then with harriers.
Americans are themselves not optimistic of filling their carriers with F35B, getting rid of their wonderful SuperHornets anytime soon, so Britain would only come next.
 

venom

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It does make sense.....

Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Combine these plans & defense news -
1.MMRCA - F-18 e/f is carrier capable operation.
2.US willing to sell advanced E2D AWACS to IN but present & future IN AC's [Virat,Vikramaditya & Vikrant class] cannot operate E2D & F-18 e/f as they lack Catobar.
3.Naval LCA is nowhere 2 b seen So F-18e/f might be the obvious choice.
4.IN is transforming into a blue water navy.Mig-29K's are good but are not as capable as F-18 e/f.

If the news is true here is the result
F-18 e/f winner of MMRCA.
Contract of atleast 2 E2D Awacs.
The option for additional F-18 being exercised for the navy which will reduce the operational cost and logistics as it will be operated by both IAF & IN.
 

bhramos

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Americans are themselves not optimistic of filling their carriers with F35B, getting rid of their wonderful SuperHornets anytime soon, so Britain would only come next.

Mama, but RN is ready to kick out Harriers which are Celebrating 50th Anniversary, so these firangis will definatly try to go for new planes.
anyway the RN's new AC's were mostly designed keeping F-35's in mind.
 

Known_Unknown

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If we can buy this brand new carrier with the F35 jets for $5 billion, it is still a much better deal than the Gorshkov. This carrier is also 60% bigger than the Gorshkov.
 

tarunraju

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Mama, but RN is ready to kick out Harriers which are Celebrating 50th Anniversary, so these firangis will definatly try to go for new planes.
anyway the RN's new AC's were mostly designed keeping F-35's in mind.
Between buying 140-ish million dollar, short-supplied F-35s, and retaining their Harriers for a little longer, I think they'll choose the latter, especially since their sale of this carrier is part of a cost-cutting programme.

F35B's are not being made in such a large scale that they'll replace Harriers and SuperHornets off every carrier in the American and British Navies. Catapults are hence here to stay for a little longer.
 

bhramos

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no we may not go F-35's
if we did it Indigenious MCA project will Shelved like LCA or Arjun.......
we already have Naval FGFA option. with TOT so we dont waste money.
anyway by 2020 all our acuisations will have full ToT & License production linked up with every deal too.
then only in future we can reach Full Indeginitation .
F-35 will not have ToT.
 

tarunraju

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no we may not go F-35's
if we did it Indigenious MCA project will Shelved like LCA or Arjun.......
we already have Naval FGFA option. with TOT so we dont waste money.
anyway by 2020 all our acuisations will have full ToT & License production linked up with every deal too.
then only in future we can reach Full Indeginitation .
F-35 will not have ToT.
Sure we won't. I would take to the streets if our government signs up for JSF. My comment was in regard to this carrier having steam catapults. It looks like it will, since F35 isn't being made in quantities large enough to replace existing aircraft.
 

Known_Unknown

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If we wait for our indigenous defence "industry" to deliver on crucial equipment, then our soldiers will be left to fight with sticks and stones. Here's an article showing the dire straits the Indian Armed forces are in:

Crucial Indian defence deals delayed

By Sunil Raman
BBC News, Delhi

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Crucial Indian defence deals delayed

India's plans to improve its defence capabilities have suffered a setback because three highly publicised military deals have been delayed by years.

Among the big defence acquisitions which are at stake, two are for the navy and one for the air force.

The plan that has suffered the most is the navy's ambition to secure India's 7,500km (4,660 miles) coastline and police international waters in the face of a rising terrorist threat.

The plan to buy an old Russian aircraft carrier and get it refitted to serve the navy for another 30 years continues to defy every new deadline announced for its induction.

French Scorpene submarines, proposed to be built in India, are nowhere near fruition either.

Air force pilots training to operate supersonic jets were overjoyed when in 2004 decades of political inaction were transformed into an order to buy 66 jet trainer aircraft from British Aerospace (BAE).

The Hawk Jet trainers were ordered to help budding pilots improve their skills before moving to a supersonic fighter jet.

Delayed

In the absence of a trainer aircraft that would help young pilots to graduate from subsonic to supersonic speed, several air force MiG fighters crashed, taking with them budding pilots.

Now all three high profile purchases have been delayed.

From rising costs of the aircraft-carrier Gorshkov to corruption charges delaying the induction of Scorpene submarines to closure of British Aerospace factories - India's military plans have become hostage to delays.

"But the navy has learnt to manage with present resources," says defence expert Ranjit Rai.

The story of India's planned acquisition of a second aircraft carrier gets more curious by the day.

INS Viraat, the renamed British carrier Hermes, started showing signs of ageing some years ago and the need to procure a second one was felt.

India is building an indigenous aircraft carrier but it will take several years before it is complete.

So India's old and dependable military supplier, Russia, came to its aid.

In turn, India rescued Sevmesh shipyard in northern Russia from closure by agreeing to buy Gorshkov and get it refitted - a deal which was hastily agreed in two days.

In this hurry, fine points including the ones relating to what was expected of Russia were overlooked.

The then naval chief Admiral Arun Prakash was made to believe that it was a "fixed price contract".

Undue haste

But over five years the cost of the deal has risen from $974m to $2.2bn. And it is still rising.

The haste with which the aircraft deal was signed continues to surprise many.

India agreed to buy and get a ship refurbished without Gorshkov's design.

"It's like buying a house without its layout design," Mr Rai said.

When the ship was ripped open, it was found that the wiring was ageing and needed to be redone.

A Japanese contractor awarded the rewiring contract found the job overwhelming - given the costs involved - and left. Now a new contractor has been found for the purpose.

Gorshkov's steel plates and machinery, too, needed to be pulled apart and new ones fitted.

The combined total of the work required to refurbish and refit an ageing carrier has contributed to the rising costs.

India remains unhappy with the deal but has little elbow room given the importance of Russia for its military supplies.

With Gorshkov's induction delayed, the government decided to refit its only aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, but it will not be operational till 2015.

That leaves the Indian navy with no aircraft carrier for some time.

At the same time, the navy's attempt to spruce up its submarine strength has not made much headway.

Sleepless nights

India has 16 diesel-powered subs, but only nine are actually operational.

The nuclear powered submarine that India is building with Russian help will also take a few years to sail.

Last month, Indian Defence Minister AK Antony was forced to admit in parliament that plans to increase the number of submarines would be impacted.

Under a 2005 agreement, India was to build six Scorpenes for $3.9bn under license from France.

But there is no sign that the first Scorpene will get delivered in 2012 as agreed.

Another acquisition that has caused sleepless nights for the air force is the Hawk Jet Trainer deal with British Aerospace (BAE).

For decades, senior air force officers had asked for a mid-trainer aircraft for fighter pilots to train on before they started flying supersonic jets.

In the past few years, many young pilots died as they transited from a basic Surya Kiran trainer aircraft to supersonic MiG-21s.

Some could not manage to manoeuvre a MiG-21 at supersonic speeds given the different judgement skills that were needed.

A much-hyped deal with BAE was signed five years ago under which 66 aircraft were to be supplied - 24 to be bought off the shelf and 42 to be manufactured in Bangalore by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

But now this deal is under threat after BAE closed down two of its factories.

"This has seriously impacted the operational preparedness," says former commander-in-chief of Air Force Training Command Air Marshal JS Rai.

Officials say the government is now looking at other aircraft manufacturers to fill the gap.

The delay and cost overruns of these three major defence acquisitions have also seen the national audit watchdog criticise the government.

For its part, the government has been slow in responding to criticism - even from its auditing organisation.

When it comes to defence issues in India, speed does not seem to be of paramount importance.
 

enlightened1

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No the queen elizabeth class doesn't have steam catapult. That said, it doesn't have arresting cables either.

Revealed: The awesome aircraft carrier that will be Britain's most powerful warship ever (if it is actually built)


Ministry of Defence computer generated image of how a controversial future giant aircraft carrier would look in its home base was unveiled today by the Royal Navy. It shows one of the carriers alongside at Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, where it would take up three jetties

An impression of how a controversial future giant aircraft carrier would look in its home base has been unveiled today by the Royal Navy.

The computer-generated image has been created to give an impression of the scale of the next generation of warships which are due to enter service in 2015.

It shows one of the carriers alongside at Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, where it would take up three jetties.

The ships will be the biggest and most powerful warships ever designed and built in the UK.

They will be 70 metres wide and the flight deck area is equivalent to 49 tennis courts or three football pitches and large enough to take up to 40 aircraft.

The Government has given the go-ahead for the creation of the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales despite criticism that the funding would be better spent elsewhere in the armed forces.

Captain Paul Lemkes, deputy naval base commander, said: 'The image brings home the sheer scale of our future aircraft carriers and there is a great deal of work in hand to ensure that the naval base is ready to support them when they enter service.

'As well as bringing a much-needed addition to the UK's joint military capability, they will be a magnificent sight and will, undoubtedly, make a huge impact on the Portsmouth skyline when alongside as well as generating great interest throughout the region.'

Preliminary work is already under way in the naval base to accommodate the vessels.

Assessments to define the exact work required have been completed and an impact study is under way to identify any measures required to safeguard the environment.

Three jetties on the western edge of the base will have to be upgraded and extra shore services will be needed, including an increase in electrical supply.

Approach channels to the base will have to be dredged to a depth of 10.5 metres - current depth is 9.5 metres - to cope with the ships, which will have a full displacement of 65,000 tonnes.
 

enlightened1

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Displacement: 65,000 tonnes (full)
Length: 280 metres (920 ft)
Beam: 39 metres (waterline)
c.70 metres overall
Draught: 9 metres
Decks: 13,000 square metres
Speed: 25+ knots
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 km)
Capacity: 1,450
Complement: 600
Aircraft carried:40 (50 full load) aircraft (VSTOL configuration)
 

bengalraider

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Why not get the design modified by the french

The way i see it the queen elizabeth class is a really great choice. We get a supercarrier without having to wait for one for a long time(boy! if we get this baby the chinese are going to be pissed) we don't even need to get it as a STOBAR we can get the modifications to the design as the french have done , they are going to operate the same class(they call it the Porte Avions 2)with a CATOBAR configuration also they plan to operate the rafale from it so maybe it's not the F-18 we're looking at.


Source: Future French aircraft carrier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PA2 (Porte-Avions 2) is a planned new aircraft carrier developed for the French Navy by Thales Naval France and DCNS from the Thales UK/BMT design for the future British Queen Elizabeth class (formerly CVF). The vessel is planned to displace approximately 70–75,000 tonnes, making it a potential supercarrier, will be based in Toulon, Var, France, and will complement the current French carrier, Charles de Gaulle.
 

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