Three aircraft carriers are an “inevitable requirement”, according to House panel

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Having three aircraft carriers will greatly improve the Navy’s combat capabilities, the Standing Parliamentary Defense Committee said in its recommendation to the government, while suggesting that it was “useful” to prioritize investments. for the development of various island territories as a provisional aircraft carrier.

The Navy lobbied for a second Indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-II) based on its force structure centered around three aircraft carriers. The country’s first IAC (IAC-I) Vikrant is currently undergoing sea trials and is expected to be commissioned in August next year.

“The requirement for a third aircraft carrier will be determined on the commitments made by the Indian Navy and future procurement projects,” the government said in its response to the Committee.

During the discussion on aircraft carriers, the Committee was informed that it was desirable to have three aircraft carriers in the Navy, with one aircraft carrier operating on each coast, while the third is underway maintenance and refit, given the long maintenance schedules of aircraft carriers.

“In this perspective, the Committee recommends that the development of a third aircraft carrier be seriously examined by the Ministry of Defense. The Committee would like to be kept informed of developments in this regard, ”the Committee said in the report tabled in Parliament on December 8.

Given the long coastline and hostile adversities on both sides of the Indian peninsula, an aircraft carrier on both sides of the coast is “par excellence” for meeting operational requirements, the committee said. However, given the long lead time for repairs and for addressing the resulting operational deficiencies, the Committee noted that three aircraft carriers is an “unavoidable requirement” to deal with any eventuality.

The Navy predicts that the IAC-II will displace 65,000 tonnes and be propelled in a conventional manner and a steam catapult to launch and recover aircraft and operate manned and unmanned platforms.

Island territories

The country is enriched by island territories with trails that can be operationalized, the Committee said and noted that some of these islands are strategically and favorably located on both sides of the coast, adapted to “block” and “dominate” the islands. entry routes provided by the tracks there. are made operational.

“The Committee concludes that the above proposal is valid and that the priority of investments for the development of various island territories as a provisional aircraft carrier will be considered by the Ministry and the decisions on this subject will be provided to the Committee. “

In response, the government said that overall infrastructure development in these territories is progressing alongside the “threat perception and long-term strategic vision”. As suggested by the Committee, investments are a priority to develop operational turnaround ports (OTRs) and the extension of existing runways in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to support the advanced deployment of ships and aircraft, the government said.

In addition, the armed forces are also supporting the NITI Aayog initiative to develop a common user airfield at Minicoy, as well as the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India project for the development of Agatti airfield, he said. “When completed, these assets can be effectively harnessed to dominate the entry routes, especially from the Strait of Malacca and the eight degrees off Lakshadweep,” the government said.

Earlier this month, Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar said that an aircraft carrier brings certain capabilities. “It is not about an aircraft carrier or a submarine, but the right balance between ships, submarines and planes,” he noted.

On a related note, Deputy Naval Chief Vice Admiral SN Ghormade said last month that all platforms such as aircraft carriers, submarines and patrol planes maritime have a specific role and the navy budgeted for a second native aircraft carrier in its Maritime Capability Perspective Plan (MCPP). On the need for an IAC-II. “To be a balanced force, all of this is necessary for capacity,” he said, adding that the MCPP has taken all of this into account while taking into account the budget allocation and constraints.


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