India launches Vikrant – home-made carrier

The International Business Times reported yesterday that India Launches First Homemade Aircraft Carrier, Raising Alarms In China ((The Indian press is referred to her as the INS Vikrant but as she has not been commissioned just ‘Vikrant’ is more appropriate)). The Vikrant will be around 37,500-40,000 tonnes and carry 30 aircraft including MiG-29K, Light Combat Aircraft and Kamov Ka-31 helicopters. The Light Combat Aircraft are Indian designed and built.

Given the time to finish construction and then go through the maker’s and working up trials before commissioning I would guess that by 2020 India will be capable of having two carrier battle-groups in the Indian Ocean and possibly the Pacific.

The International Business Times noted:

The Vikrant’s high-grade steel was manufactured by the Steel Authority of India, while all the design and manufacturing was accomplished domestically. But the Vikrant warship, which is 260 meters (853 feet) long and 60 meters (197 feet) wide, is at least three years behind schedule and set to undergo extensive trials in the year 2016. By the end of 2018, Vikrant is expected to be commissioned and join the Indian navy.

Currently the Indian Navy operates a single aircraft carrier, the INS Viraat which is the ex-British Navy’s HMS Hermes and the oldest operating carrier in the world. She is likely to be decommissioned in 2019. The Indians also purchased the Admiral Gorshkov from Russia a few years back and after much haggling and argument, a final price for improvements was agreed. The Admiral Gorshkov will be renamed Vikramaditya when commissioned into the Indian Navy. The Vikramaditya is expected to be delivered later this year.

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