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Arun Prakash, a former Chief of the Indian Navy, has ignited discussions by proposing a bold idea on social media platform X (formerly Twitter). His suggestion revolves around the potential for India and France to collaborate on naval projects concurrently. Specifically, Prakash advocates for the simultaneous construction of France’s future aircraft carrier, known as PA-NG, in France, and India’s Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-III (IAC-3) in India.

Prakash’s proposal aims to leverage the strengths of both nations to create a mutually beneficial arrangement. He argues that such collaboration would not only facilitate the acquisition of ship design and construction expertise but also enable the exchange of nuclear design and propulsion technologies. Furthermore, Prakash highlights the potential for work-share opportunities that could enhance cooperation between India and France in the naval domain.

India’s naval ambitions are evident in its plans to develop the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-III (IAC-III), a formidable vessel with a proposed displacement of 60,000 tons. Currently, the Indian Navy operates the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-I (IAC-I) with a displacement of 45,000 tons and has plans to procure the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-II (IAC-II) of similar size.

Meanwhile, France’s PA-NG, with its latest technical specifications, represents a significant leap in naval technology and capability. With a full load displacement of approximately 75,000 tons and an array of advanced features including electromagnetic catapults (EMALS) by General Atomics, the PA-NG promises to be a formidable asset for the French Navy. The inclusion of both the New Generation Fighter (NGF) and Rafale M aircraft further enhances its operational versatility.

Collaborating on the construction of these naval behemoths presents a unique opportunity for India and France to deepen their strategic partnership. By sharing expertise and resources, both countries stand to gain valuable insights into advanced naval technologies and operational concepts. Moreover, such collaboration could strengthen bilateral ties and foster greater interoperability between the Indian and French navies.

However, the road ahead is not without challenges. Coordinating the construction of two massive aircraft carriers across continents requires meticulous planning, robust logistics, and effective communication channels. Additionally, navigating the complexities of nuclear propulsion technology transfer poses legal, regulatory, and security challenges that must be addressed comprehensively.