In a direct threat to Pakistan, Indian Navy to acquire lethal firepower for its arsenal
*New Delhi: **In a direct threat to Pakistan, Indian Navy to acquire lethal firepower to its arsenal with the addition of the New Aircraft carrier cum battle group.*
A second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-II) remains a top priority for the Indian Navy, even as the force battles a severe financial crunch and is proposing to cut down on the quantity of several crucial naval acquisitions. Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh said this Tuesday.
The Navy’s “long term capability planning”, said Singh, envisages induction of three aircraft carriers so that two carrier battle groups (CBGs) are available for deployment in the Indian Ocean Region at all times.
“It will be 65,000 CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take off but Arrested Recovery) head carrier with electric propulsion,” the Navy chief told the media in an address link ahead of the Navy Day that is celebrated on 4 December, The Print has reported.
He added that this and other broad contours of the IAC-II, to be constructed in India, have been formulated and the case will be processed for the Accord of Acceptance of Necessity.
Singh said the Navy has to now handle the consultancy on the IAC-II with countries like the US and Britain, and decide on which nation should be approached for the same.
Senior Naval officers had earlier told ThePrint that the IAC-II is still at the design stage.
India’s only operational aircraft carrier at present is the INS Vikramaditya. INS Vikrant, the second carrier, is under construction at the Cochin Shipyard Limited. Both carriers have the STOBAR concept — Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery.
The Navy chief also said the main shipbuilding part of INS Vikrant is over and it will now go for basin trials.
“We are almost certain that we will take delivery by February-March 2021. Once we take delivery, then we will get our aviation assets going to the trials that, I expect, will take a year or so. We should have a fully operational carrier by 2022,” he said. MiG-29K fighters will be operating on the aircraft carrier.