SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK
Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant recently returned after a five-day sea trial with deliveries planned to the Indian Navy in 2022, Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) that manufactured Vikrant in association with the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) has offered to construct a sister class ship of the IAC-1 with more than 76% indigenous content since local expertise that has been build while Navy’s plans to construct a bigger 65000 ton IAC-2 was been put on hold due to budget constraints.
Indian Navy wants to operate a fleet of three aircraft carriers so that it can have at least two on active duty while the third one is kept in drydocks to undergo regular maintenance. The Navy earlier was strongly against the construction of a sister ship of the Vikrant is now reconsidering its position due to the rapid construction pace of the Chinese aircraft carriers and their growing influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) that might see at least one permanent carrier strike group (CSG) deployment in IOR in near future said an Industrial source close to idrw.org.
INS Vikramaditya a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier that was inducted in 2013 has a shelf life of 25 years after which it will need to undergo major refit and overhauling of its system that will also include upgrades to the ship so has to enhance its life-cycle support by at least 10-15 years. IAC-1 sister class ship if cleared will be made available only in 2029 with induction in 2030 so the ball is in the Navy’s court, it can either wait for project sanction of the IAC-2 or go for IAC-1 sister class warship at a much lower cost.
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