Saturday, January 16, 2021

Indian Aircraft Carrier Vikrant Gears Up For Commissioning As Rafales Compete Against F-18s As Its ‘Flying Machines’

The Indian Navy has completed basin trials for its first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1) Vikrant, the Defense Ministry said on Monday. According to official sources, the ship shall see extensive sea trials starting early next year.

What Lies Ahead For India & China As Donald Trump’s Loyalist Take Control Of The Pentagon?

The IAC-1 would bear the same name as that of the legacy aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, which was a British-built Majestic Class carrier retired in 1997 and scrapped in 2014. 

The old carrier played a key role in enforcing the naval blockade of East Pakistan during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, also known as the Bangladesh Liberation was.

A Defense Public Relations Officer shared photos of the vessel on Twitter. “Basin trials of the under-construction IAC1 conducted successfully at CSL, Kochi on 30 Nov 20 in presence of VAdm AK Chawla, CinC SNC and Shri Madhu Nair, CMD,” read the tweet.


Basin trials are conducted to test the propulsion, transmission, and shafting systems of the vessel.

The ship is poised to be commissioned in late 2021 or early 2022 and would carry a complement of approximately 30 fixed-wing fighter aircraft, and about 10 rotary-wing aircraft which might include the American MH-60R, Kamov Ka-31, Sea King, and (possibly) the Naval variant of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv. 

While the MiG-29Ks are seen as the most cost-effective option, Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and Dassault’s Rafale M are also competing for the orders. 

The American company has already supplied the Indian Navy with P-8I Neptune aircraft, and the Indian Air Force with AH-64E Guardian and CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The French firm, Dassault, has already bagged an order for 36 Rafales.

“With focused and committed efforts of the Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard Limited, it is only a matter of time that the IAC — the Nations Dream — would be sailing the high seas bearing the National Tricolour,” the statement said.

The sources also said that the work on the ship continued despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and that the CSL and the Indian Navy worked cohesively for ensuring timely completion of the basin trials which started in September. 

Onboard the carrier, extensive trials of all four LM2500 gas turbines, main gearboxes, shafting, and controllable pitch propellers, along with their integrated control systems, were carried out during these trials. 

In addition, major auxiliary equipment and systems such as steering gear, air conditioning plants, compressors, centrifuges, all 60 critical pumps besides the entire internal communication equipment were also tested during the harbor-trial phase.

The new Vikrant is in a short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) configuration and has a ski-jump ramp to assist aircraft operations, much like the currently serving INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. 


Why Should Pakistan Be ‘Very Worried’ By India’s New Role At The UN Security Council?

India, which has begun its stint as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2021-22, will be chairing three key UN sanctions...

Indian Air Force Chief Compares LCA Tejas With Pakistani / Chinese JF-17 Thunder

Drawing a comparison between India's LCA Mk1A ‘Tejas’ and Pakistan's JF-17 fighters, Indian Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said that the Indian jets are...

After Russian S-400, India Inks Pact With The UK To Acquire STARStreak Air Defense System

The Indian Army has moved a step closer to acquiring the STARStreak air defense system as the British company Thales and India's Bharat Dynamics...

Turkey Inaugurates New Consulate Building In Pakistan’s Karachi

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday inaugurated the country’s new consulate building in Pakistan's commercial capital Karachi. Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Cavusoglu said the...

Vietnam Beats China, India to Become Next Manufacturing Hub: Reports

Vietnam has emerged as an attractive foreign direct investment (FDI) destination in Asia by beating China and India, a report by the Economist Intelligence...