India is to induct the $2.33 billion INS Vikramaditya, the re-fitted Russian aircraft carrier on Nov 16. With this India has an upper hand and also scores over China in delivering airpower from the sea. This acquisition is likely to prompt China accelerate its carrier programme to expand its military might.
Defence Minister AK Anthony will commission INS Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) into Indian navy during his upcoming visit to Russia, barely two months China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning completed crucial sea trials. The Chinese carrier, a discarded vessel bought from Ukaraine may be limited to training role. But the take-off and landing of J-15 fighter planes from the renovated carrier indicates that China is taking strides towards delivering air power from sea. Two more carriers are likely to join the Chinese fleet over the next 12-15 years. However, China is nowhere close to India when it comes to operating these complex floating airfields.
The 45,000 tonne INS Vikrmaditya can carry more than 30 fighter planes and helicopters.
The 24,000 tonne INS Viraat can hold more than 25 combat planes and helicopters.
The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier will weigh 37,000 tonne and carry 36 aircrafts.
The Indian Navy has been operating carriers for decades, INS Vikrant bought from UK, was commissioned as the navy’s first carrier in 1961. It was retired in 1997. India currently operates only one aircraft carrier – INS Viraat, a British warship inducted in 1987. The Navy plans to keep her in service until 2018 when it inducts Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant being built at the Cochin Shipyard.
Also read – Mumbai Buzz on V4News.com
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