IAC-2 Future Aircraft Carrier Project - News & Discussions

Ashwin

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For the first time, the navy has officially confirmed that INS Vishal, its second indigenous aircraft carrier that will be built in the 2020s, will be a conventionally-powered vessel, not a nuclear powered warship as earlier envisaged.

Indian Navy chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba told a press conference on Friday that the navy is going in for a “65,000-tonne, two-deck, CATOBAR (catapult take off but arrested landing), conventionally powered” carrier. It would incorporate the latest “EMALS (electro-magnetic aircraft launch system) and AAG (advanced arrester gear)” developed by US firm, General Atomics, for launching and recovering aircraft.


First reported by Business Standard (October 27, “Navy drops cherished dream of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier”), this has now been officially confirmed.
The chief of naval staff (CNS) also confirmed the navy’s ongoing acquisition of 57 multi-role carrier-borne fighters (MRCBF) was meant for both indigenous aircraft carriers – INS Vikrant, which would be commissioned in end-2020, and INS Vishal which would take another decade. With the Naval Tejas fighter unsuitable for deployment, the MRCBF procurement is regarded as essential by the navy, said Lanba.

Providing an update on the MRCBF procurement, Lanba said the navy’s Request for Information (RFI) that had been floated earlier this year had received four responses. Sources say these are from Boeing for its F/A-18E/F, Dassault for the Rafale Marine, Saab for its Gripen Maritime and from Russia for an updated MiG-29K, which the navy is already flying.

“We will take the [MRCBF acquisition] process forward. But the middle of next year, we should be able to float the RFP (request for proposals, as the tender is called)”.
Broadsword: Navy chief admits damage to INS Chakra

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Indian Navy's Next Aircraft Carrier To Be Massive 65,000 Tonne Beast With Deadly Firepower And Powerful Fighters

INDIATIMES
DECEMBER 04, 2017
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Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba today said a request for proposal (RFP) is likely to be issued by mid-2018 for the procurement of 57 multi-role combat fighter jets for the Navy's aircraft carrier.

"Hopefully we will be able to issue the RFP by middle of next year," he said.

BCCL
Four aircraft manufacturers have shown interest in the project.
The Navy chief also said the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC I) will be ready by 2020 and the Navy was looking for deck based combat capable fighter aircraft for it.

He said the naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. cannot operate from deck and that is why the Navy was looking for other options.
"I need a deck based combat capable fighter by 2020 for IAC I. In present state, LCA Navy cannot be operated from deck," he said.
ALSO READ: Oldest Aircraft Carrier In The World, INS Viraat To Be Made A Tourist Spot In Andhra Pradesh

PTI
The Navy chief also said that the "form and fit" of the second indigenous aircraft carrier have been finalised and that it will be a 65,000-tonne vessel.
Replying to a question, he said there will not be any financial constraints in procuring 57 new deck based fighter jets.

At the same time, he indicated that declining capital budget for the Navy was a matter of concern. He said he had raised the issue with the defence ministry.

Indian Navy's Next Aircraft Carrier To Be Massive 65,000 Tonne Beast With Deadly Firepower
 

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The Indian Navy is moving ahead with a big-ticket proposal for acquiring its third aircraft carrier which is expected to cost around Rs 1.6 lakh crore along with the additional component of 57 fighter aircraft.

The Navy has one operational aircraft carrier in the INS Vikramaditya while another one, INS Vikrant, is under construction at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and is expected to join service in the next few years.

“The Navy is planning to field its Rs 70,000 crore proposal before the defence ministry in near future which will cost around Rs 1.6 lakh crore at the approval stage itself along with the fighter plane component and the actual costs will go higher further as the programme moves ahead,” government sources told Mail Today.

The Navy has plans of buying 57 twin-engine fighter planes for the third aircraft carrier for which American F-18 and French Dassault Rafale are in the race.

“If one goes by the cost of the 36 Rafales acquired for the Air Force, the 57 planes are not going to cost us less than Rs 90,000-95,000 crore,” the sources said.

Citing the Chinese threat, the Navy had been asking for construction of the third nuclearpowered aircraft carrier using American technology and systems which is going to be far more expensive in comparison with the existing systems.

The Navy has been arguing that it should have one aircraft carrier each for the eastern and western sea boards with one aircraft carrier in reserve to take care of the time taken for refit and repair of any of the two carriers.

However, the defence ministry is not very keen on the project due to the high costs involved in it and it would force the government to change its acquisition plans for the coming years compelling it to wait list a number of other urgently required weapon systems of the Army and the Air Force, sources said.

The cost of equipment for the aircraft carrier take-off patented by an American private sector firm will also be a major factor in determining the final cost of the carrier for India, the sources said.

For buying the aircraft for the aircraft carrier, the Navy had floated a request for information (RFI) but it has not got any clearance from the defence ministry for issuing the tender for the project.

However, the Navy has already allowed the vendors to give it a presentation on whether their planes would be able to take off from the Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya or not. Defence ministry sources also said the need for further expanding the aircraft carrier fleet needs to be thought over again as all targets and routes in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) can be looked after well by the existing assets and bases in the area.

Due to this reason, the defence ministry had refused to clear the five-year programme of the Navy as agreeing to it would required at least doubling the current acquisition budget of the ministry.

The government of India already spends 28 per cent of its total acquisition budget on fulfilling the requirements of the three services and increasing it to a higher level does not seem possible in the near future, sources said.

Original Source of Article
 

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It's a catch 22 situation. PLAN is upgrading really fast and we need to keep up with their expansion. But the govt can't afford to fund the expansion at the necessary pace. To make it worse, PLAAF is expanding even faster and the IAF is in a bad situation.
 

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It's a catch 22 situation. PLAN is upgrading really fast and we need to keep up with their expansion. But the govt can't afford to fund the expansion at the necessary pace. To make it worse, PLAAF is expanding even faster and the IAF is in a bad situation.
next tranche Rafale with Tejas MKXX offset if only finalized soon, we can speed up the current induction rate.
hoping to see MSA/LSA get some (y) and add numbers to squad soon.

i wondering where did the government spend all the money it got so far?
 

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This is necessary no doubt; but it's kind of pointless when our ships don't have helicopters, some ships (I believe) still lack missile defense systems, we just canceled a crucial and long overdue minesweeper deal, we're woefully short on submarines (all 3 kinds), and forget getting a quality naval MMRCA - we don't even have a delivery of the initial 36 Air Force MMRCA's yet.
 

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This is necessary no doubt; but it's kind of pointless when our ships don't have helicopters, some ships (I believe) still lack missile defense systems, we just canceled a crucial and long overdue minesweeper deal, we're woefully short on submarines (all 3 kinds), and forget getting a quality naval MMRCA - we don't even have a delivery of the initial 36 Air Force MMRCA's yet.
First of all, 10.5 billion is expensive for the carrier. A Ford class costs that much.Somewhere someone should assess and compare for bang for buck, the option of 2,3 smaller heli carriers capable of and armed with 15-18 f35s....

Secondly, addressing the issues u correctly pointed out (but missed heavy torpedoes, towed array sonars in enough numbers, mid air refuellers and awacs), its easy to blame the babus and politicians alone, when equal blame lies with the equally corrupt generals.
 
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RATHORE

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(but missed heavy torpedoes, towed array sonars in enough numbers, mid air refuellers and awacs)
Yea, I missed the first two. I'm aware of the other 2 but I was purely focusing on acquisition priorities for the Navy. If we sit down to list all the things our forces need urgently which haven't been bought yet, we'd add 500 pages to the thread in no time :p
 

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First of all, 10.5 billion is expensive for the carrier. A Ford class costs that much.Somewhere someone should assess and compare for bang for buck, the option of 2,3 smaller heli carriers capable of and armed with 15-18 f35s....

Secondly, addressing the issues u correctly pointed out (but missed heavy torpedoes, towed array sonars in enough numbers, mid air refuellers and awacs), its easy to blame the babus and politicians alone, when equal blame lies with the equally corrupt generals.
I am all for LHDs with F-35Bs, but that's far into the future, after we get the 3 carrier force first. We need much larger LHDs for this role than the ones we ave planned to induct. So that can come up once we actually start expanding our expeditionary forces from the 2030s or so.

Building the first carrier will cost a lot because of the cost of shipyard infrastructure necessary.
 
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randomradio

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This is necessary no doubt; but it's kind of pointless when our ships don't have helicopters, some ships (I believe) still lack missile defense systems, we just canceled a crucial and long overdue minesweeper deal, we're woefully short on submarines (all 3 kinds), and forget getting a quality naval MMRCA - we don't even have a delivery of the initial 36 Air Force MMRCA's yet.
The naval buildup is a long term plan. MRCBF is expected only after 2024.
 

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next tranche Rafale with Tejas MKXX offset if only finalized soon, we can speed up the current induction rate.
hoping to see MSA/LSA get some (y) and add numbers to squad soon.
More Mig-29K or a completely indigenous solution. Those are the only options for the navy.

i wondering where did the government spend all the money it got so far?
2 carriers, 7 destroyers, 17 frigates, 6 SSKs, 4 SSBNs, and now 6 SSNs. That's where the money's gone to date.
 

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It's a catch 22 situation. PLAN is upgrading really fast and we need to keep up with their expansion. But the govt can't afford to fund the expansion at the necessary pace. To make it worse, PLAAF is expanding even faster and the IAF is in a bad situation.
Why not go in for incremental accruals ? Instead of a CVN , why not go in for a conventionally powered sister ship for IAC -1 , perhaps with a displaced tonnage of 50-55k ? Or is this part of the IN's gambit - to arm twist the MoD into agreeing for more funds in lieu of giving up on a CVN? What's your take on this theory ?
 

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I am all for LHDs with F-35Bs, but that's far into the future, after we get the 3 carrier force first. We need much larger LHDs for this role than the ones we ave planned to induct. So that can come up once we actually start expanding our expeditionary forces from the 2030s or so.

Building the first carrier will cost a lot because of the cost of shipyard infrastructure necessary.
I am not even convinced we have the need for a carrier this size and advance. More likely to be a liability in view of the potentially destruptive technologies evolving.

And I dont believe the generals and babus know the best. Just look at the sorry state of modernisation across the board for example.
 

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I am not even convinced we have the need for a carrier this size and advance. More likely to be a liability in view of the potentially destruptive technologies evolving.
No, we need a flat top carrier with a lot of fighters. And it's 3 squadrons worth anyway. Not a lot for a carrier. We need flat tops so they can carry AEWCS and transport aircraft.

And I dont believe the generals and babus know the best. Just look at the sorry state of modernisation across the board for example.
We are doing exceedingly well for the kind of money we have. Had the navy been as import hungry as the IAF, then we would have been in a lot more trouble.
 

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Why not go in for incremental accruals ? Instead of a CVN , why not go in for a conventionally powered sister ship for IAC -1 , perhaps with a displaced tonnage of 50-55k ? Or is this part of the IN's gambit - to arm twist the MoD into agreeing for more funds in lieu of giving up on a CVN? What's your take on this theory ?
Only CVNs can provide value for money. That's the only way we can ensure the carrier has enough aviation fuel for high tempo operations.

The navy is not trying to trick the MoD or anything of the sort. The requirement is real.
 

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Only CVNs can provide value for money. That's the only way we can ensure the carrier has enough aviation fuel for high tempo operations.

The navy is not trying to trick the MoD or anything of the sort. The requirement is real.
And how's the finance of 20 billion USD + going to materialise along with addressing other equally pressing needs of the IN ? Something doesn't fit in . With the current paucity of resources , this seems more like top of a wish list instead of a need list .
 

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And how's the finance of 20 billion USD + going to materialise along with addressing other equally pressing needs of the IN ? Something doesn't fit in . With the current paucity of resources , this seems more like top of a wish list instead of a need list .
It's not $20B for the carrier. The article is talking about 70k Cr, that's about $11B. But the air complement alone would cost $20B upwards of the 11B if we go for Rafale and imported AEWCS. Anyway, these costs will come into the picture after a decade, not right away.

It's not a wish list. The wish list is for 6 large carriers. Right now, we are only talking about one carrier. By 2030 we should start construction of 2 carriers in two different docks if we are to keep up with the Chinese.

Can you imagine the Chinese will have at least 8 carriers by 2035? And at least 4 or 5 of them will be supercarriers.
 

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I personally think a carrier in Bay of Bengal is useless, its like putting a carrier in Caspian sea, Would be better instead to develop naval air bases with planes like say Su-34 etc that can be used in truly multi roles like
a) Long range reconnaissance, anti shipping and strike
b) Long range interdictor
c) Air dominance
d) AEW and EW (needing more special pods for this role)

Aircraft carriers should be used for offensive roles for power projection and having an aircraft carrier in "pond" called bay of Bengal will be big big risk. Keeping it in Indian ocean makes sense, but not in bay of bengal where our land based aircraft like Su-30 MKI or say Su-34 (in my concept case) can maintain air dominance over entire bay of bengal from bases in Chennai, to Kolkata. Rather we dont even need an aircraft carrier to face Pakistan, In simple terms Carriers should be used as Strike corps. I think the days of carrier are long gone, and India is in some stupid nostaliga believing that they need a carrier to show they are powerful. Please do remember that Russia was able to project their power in Syria even using their long range missiles from Black sea.. so the sooner we get out of this mindset and develop newer doctrines based on ACTUAL VALUE PRODUCTS
 

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It's not $20B for the carrier. The article is talking about 70k Cr, that's about $11B. But the air complement alone would cost $20B upwards of the 11B if we go for Rafale and imported AEWCS. Anyway, these costs will come into the picture after a decade, not right away.

It's not a wish list. The wish list is for 6 large carriers. Right now, we are only talking about one carrier. By 2030 we should start construction of 2 carriers in two different docks if we are to keep up with the Chinese.

Can you imagine the Chinese will have at least 8 carriers by 2035? And at least 4 or 5 of them will be supercarriers.
But I thought in your earlier posts You remarked that China's threat perception is quite different from ours. Our immediate need is to secure the Indian Ocean and the approach to western Pacific . I think @smestarz above post a lot of sense . If we have a mixture of 4-5 light and mid sized carriers , with the ANI , Lakshadweep and a few bases in the IOR Viz Seychelles , Maldives / Mauritius , Madagascar / Mozambique , that should curtail our need for supercarriers . Add active collaboration with US , UK & French fleets in a graduated manner and we can optimise our meagre budgets better . Its only after our economy crosses the threshold of 10 trillion USD in GDP nominal , hopefully in 2 decades from today that we can alter our Naval doctrine and acquisitions accordingly as we'd have a larger budget to play around with and with the commensurate growth in trade , the need to safeguard our investments and SLOC's respectively as China seems to be doing today .
 

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But I thought in your earlier posts You remarked that China's threat perception is quite different from ours. Our immediate need is to secure the Indian Ocean and the approach to western Pacific . I think @smestarz above post a lot of sense . If we have a mixture of 4-5 light and mid sized carriers , with the ANI , Lakshadweep and a few bases in the IOR Viz Seychelles , Maldives / Mauritius , Madagascar / Mozambique , that should curtail our need for supercarriers . Add active collaboration with US , UK & French fleets in a graduated manner and we can optimise our meagre budgets better .
That will work only for a few years, probably a decade. I was referring to what China can do in the next 15 years, not what they can do after 15 years.

My idea was to delay the procurement of the MRCBF, or just buy upgraded Mig-29s for now, and then go for a MII program for Rafale-M after IA's and IAF's needs are met first. Until then, with the combination of Brahmos-M and the short distance towards all the bases within IOR, we will be able to deny any adversary a safe zone with Mig-29s alone.

The MRCBF for 57 jets is expected to cost $15B. So I hoped the navy would buy Mig-29s instead and surrender the rest for the IAF's or IA's modernization. The money could pay for 36 more Rafales, 6 A330s for the IAF along with the 1.3 million new rifles and 300,000 BPJs that the IA needs. All this if we delay procuring Rafale-M by only a few years, three years at best. The reason I say this is because the Chinese are not yet confident enough to operate in the numbers necessary to threaten the IN for now. But it looks like the IN wants to blow it all on 57 Rafales right away. After 2030 or so, we will most definitely need supercarriers.

I think the IN and IAF are pushing for 57 Rafale-Ms so that Dassault can start MII along with 36 more Rafales. Once that's done, it will become impossible for GoI to say no to more Rafales for the IAF because we will already have a MII program running.

Supercarriers are better than islands.

Its only after our economy crosses the threshold of 10 trillion USD in GDP nominal , hopefully in 2 decades from today that we can alter our Naval doctrine and acquisitions accordingly as we'd have a larger budget to play around with and with the commensurate growth in trade , the need to safeguard our investments and SLOC's respectively as China seems to be doing today .
We don't need to wait for our economy to rise up to 10T for us to be able to counter China. What we need is 9-10% GDP growth. We get to that, our defence budget will grow at 14% every year. With the combination of higher budget and faster indigenization, we will be able to spend enough money every year to counter China.

If we manage to get to this level by 2020 and sustain it until 2030, our defence budget will be massive. More than $200B a year in 2030, with most of it being used up on capital expenditure.

We are talking about revenue growth, not even GDP, because that's where our defence budget comes from. And our tax revenue increased by 22% last year. And this figure will continue improving as we get out of the slump.