IAC-2 Future Aircraft Carrier Project - News & Discussions

Ashwin

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The carrier is a joke. Without nuclear power, you are better of just making another Vikrant. You need a reactor to power the EMALS or steam efficiently and consistently. Apart from that there will be too many power constraints for next generation weapons. They will literally have to turn off some systems in order to use other systems without a reactor. Even with IEPS, there will be massive power constraints. IEPS is fine for destroyers, tankers, LHDs etc, but not for a CATOBAR carrier. If even one of the 4 engines fail, the carrier becomes a massive liability.

And to top all that off, 65kT is too less anyway. You need a ship with 60 fighter jets capable of very high sortie rates just to be effective, whereas Vishal will be able to carry less than 40 with questionable sortie rates. In fact I won't be surprised if the Vishal ends up barely matching the Vikrant during long term operations.

If Vishal is to be built, there should be a proper plan to scale up and build bigger carriers with nuclear propulsion in a continuous process. Something like the Chinese carrier plan. Ours is just too half-baked to succeed.

What the IN needs is an 80kT carrier with IEPS and STOBAR. Transport and AEW needs can come in through V-22 Osprey. And a combination of 1 squadron of naval PAK FA and 2 squadrons of TEDBF should take care of our actual carrier needs. Anything less is pointless. This should be followed up by a plan to build larger nuclear-powered carriers.

Btw, shipbuilding isn't like army and air force procurement programs. Most of the cost of a ship is the materials. So when a program starts, a huge chunk of the money goes into buying raw materials, and the amount that's spread over many years is actually minuscule and mainly involves labour cost and consumables. So when you go out to buy a carrier and its screens, most of the payment goes out in just the first 1-2 years, which should easily be 70% of the contract at least. We have to pay for the aircraft early as well so that you can train the crew on land before hitting the carrier, which is the idea behind MRCBF.
Too unrealistic, calling it optimistic is an understatement.

But who am I to complain, I want this:

 
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The carrier is a joke. Without nuclear power, you are better of just making another Vikrant. You need a reactor to power the EMALS or steam efficiently and consistently. Apart from that there will be too many power constraints for next generation weapons. They will literally have to turn off some systems in order to use other systems without a reactor. Even with IEPS, there will be massive power constraints. IEPS is fine for destroyers, tankers, LHDs etc, but not for a CATOBAR carrier. If even one of the 4 engines fail, the carrier becomes a massive liability.

And to top all that off, 65kT is too less anyway. You need a ship with 60 fighter jets capable of very high sortie rates just to be effective, whereas Vishal will be able to carry less than 40 with questionable sortie rates. In fact I won't be surprised if the Vishal ends up barely matching the Vikrant during long term operations.

If Vishal is to be built, there should be a proper plan to scale up and build bigger carriers with nuclear propulsion in a continuous process. Something like the Chinese carrier plan. Ours is just too half-baked to succeed.

What the IN needs is an 80kT carrier with IEPS and STOBAR. Transport and AEW needs can come in through V-22 Osprey. And a combination of 1 squadron of naval PAK FA and 2 squadrons of TEDBF should take care of our actual carrier needs. Anything less is pointless. This should be followed up by a plan to build larger nuclear-powered carriers.

Btw, shipbuilding isn't like army and air force procurement programs. Most of the cost of a ship is the materials. So when a program starts, a huge chunk of the money goes into buying raw materials, and the amount that's spread over many years is actually minuscule and mainly involves labour cost and consumables. So when you go out to buy a carrier and its screens, most of the payment goes out in just the first 1-2 years, which should easily be 70% of the contract at least. We have to pay for the aircraft early as well so that you can train the crew on land before hitting the carrier, which is the idea behind MRCBF.
Better to purchase the soon to be retired French Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier and design our own later based on the CDG.
 

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Better to purchase the soon to be retired French Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier and design our own later based on the CDG.
Ashwin's post above is more realistic. There's nothing we can learn from the CdG, never mind the fact that it won't be retired until 2050.

Too unrealistic, calling the it optimistic is an understatement.
It's the opposite. What I put forward is actually more realistic than a 65kT conventional CATOBAR carrier. The bigger size allows greater leeway in design, for example, you can have 3 large elevators instead of just 2. The STOBAR design is much more simpler. And the greater hangar space allows for more weapons carriage so even the PAK FAs can be used effectively. Plus the ship can carry more fuel, probably twice as much, so longer mission time.

Rather, the 65kT carrier comes with ridiculous amounts of design restrictions, and CATOBAR simply makes it far more complex.

And by avoiding expensive western CATOBAR aircraft, its related aviation complex and the infrastructure needed for CATOBAR, an 85kT STOBAR will actually turn out to be cheaper.
 

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I'd rather the IN keeps things simple , adopt incrementalism as their guiding philosophy & go in for a 50,000 or 60,000 ton (+/- 5k) displacement mid sized carrier with the ability to carry 40 carrier based FA, Choppers , UAV, UUAV, etc with IELP & CATOBAR before we move into the large / super carrier range of 80k & above where we can go in for N propulsion, EMALS, etc.

This could materialise by 2025 TL onwards so that we don't lose skillsets & the definitive N carriers or super carriers could come in post 2030 onwards.
 

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I'd rather the IN keeps things simple & go in for a 50,000 or 60,000 ton (+/- 5k) displacement mid sized carrier with the ability to carry 40 carrier based FA, Choppers , UAV, UUAV, etc, with IELP & CATOBAR before we move into the large / super carrier range of 80k & above where we can go in for N propulsion, EMALS, etc.

This could materialise by 2025 TL onwards so that we don't lose skillsets & the definitive N carriers or super carriers could come in post 2030 onwards.
I believe , we will quietly enter into a Secret
Naval Alliance with US Navy and forget about the Third Carrier

There is No money

Either we can get more N submarines and
Destroyers or a Third Aircraft Carrier

Let the Vikrant Carrier Group first be formed and operated

The operating costs will burn a nice hole in the budget

Indian Navy cutting down on procurement due to Budget cuts
 

Ankit Kumar

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Postpone all carrier , LHD plans for a decade atleast. Cancel P75I.

Pump everything else remaining into SSN project, incremental block orders of MH60R, additional P75 , additional P8I and Minesweepers.

Similarly in IAF, cancel MMRCA, keep ordering batches of 36 Rafales, as and when funding is available. Pump the rest into MK1A production and Su30MKI upgrade.
 

randomradio

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I'd rather the IN keeps things simple , adopt incrementalism as their guiding philosophy & go in for a 50,000 or 60,000 ton (+/- 5k) displacement mid sized carrier with the ability to carry 40 carrier based FA, Choppers , UAV, UUAV, etc with IELP & CATOBAR before we move into the large / super carrier range of 80k & above where we can go in for N propulsion, EMALS, etc.

This could materialise by 2025 TL onwards so that we don't lose skillsets & the definitive N carriers or super carriers could come in post 2030 onwards.
There's not much of a difference there. If you can build a 65000T ship, you can build an 85000 ship as well, or even 100000T.

The problem with 65kT is there won't be enough space inside to effectively use the carrier. For example, steam catapults will require steam boilers, and those will be pretty big.
 

Ashwin

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Indian Navy will push ahead with plan for 3rd aircraft carrier despite CDS' reservations

New Delhi: The Indian Navy is firm on its plans to have a third aircraft carrier despite Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat’s scepticism, and will approach the government for permission to initiate formal design consultancy, ThePrint has learnt.

“The third aircraft carrier is an operational necessity,” a source in the Navy said. “It is not that an aircraft carrier can be bought off the shelf. Even if all permissions are given today, it will take 15 years for the carrier to be inducted.”

A second source said the Navy was moving ahead with the design consultancy phase for the carrier, adding that formal permissions would be sought.

The Indian Navy currently operates one aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, while the second, INS Vikrant, is under construction in Cochin, due for commissioning in 2022. Both vessels have a displacement — the measure of a vessel’s weight — of 45,000 tonnes each.

While the Navy has had its eyes set on a third aircraft carrier, General Rawat, who oversees all three military branches in his role as CDS, said earlier this month that it was not a priority. Preference, according to him, would be given to submarines and air-strips on the far-flung Indian islands in the Andamans.


Third aircraft carrier part of long-term capability planning
Dismissing any budgetary concerns, sources said every force is driven by long-term capability planning that also takes into account budgeting requirements.

Asked if the Navy had budgeted for both submarines and the third carrier, a source said, “The submarines, both nuclear and conventional, are important. The third carrier is a project for the future but work has to begin now. The work that needs to be completed first is the design element. Budget is catered for.”

Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh had said in December last year that the force’s long-term capability planning envisaged the induction of three aircraft carriers so that two are available for deployment in the Indian Ocean Region, where China has been making inroads, at all times.

A project study initiated during the tenure of former defence minister Manohar Parrikar decided that the third carrier would be a 65,000 CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take Off but Arrested Recovery) system with electric propulsion.

‘Shore-based air ops not enough’
Navy sources said shore-based air operations, as preferred by the CDS, were still limited by range, and this is where the aircraft carriers came into play.

They added that External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had defined the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as including countries fringing the entire Indian Ocean, from the Strait of Hormuz to Reunion island, from East Africa to Australia, and from Lombok Strait to Malacca Strait.

This vast oceanic expanse, they said, was well beyond the capability of strike aircraft operating from the Indian mainland, which would barely cover even 20 per cent of this area and thus leave vast swathes of IOR unchallenged.

In addition, fighter jets operating in the sea would need a significant amount of time to manoeuvre, especially if challenged by enemy fighters. This limits their range too, they said.

The sources highlighted that shore-based strike aircraft from any service, be it the Navy or the Air Force, would be in a defending position at best within 1,000 km of the coast.


‘Must have two aircraft carriers operational at all times’
The sources reiterated Admiral Singh’s concerns, saying it was important to have a third carrier because it would ensure two are always ready for deployment, even when one is in for refits.

“The Vikramaditya will also age over the next two decades. Moreover, the Navy’s project for 57 fighters along with the the twin-engine Tejas, as well as the currently-used MiG-29K, caters to… three carriers,” one of the aforementioned sources said.

The sources added that the country had to decide whether it planned to “play a bigger game” in the global maritime structure.

They pointed out how the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy of China, which has been making repeated forays into the Indian Ocean Region, plans to become a four-aircraft-carrier force by the end of the decade.

By 2049, they added, China was looking to have 10 aircraft carriers.

Aircraft carriers ‘back in reckoning’
The sources sought to note how countries like the UK, which had developed doubts about aircraft carriers, had once again woken up to their potential.

The US, one of them said, “of course continues to repose their faith in aircraft carriers”.

While Russia, Italy and France operate aircraft carriers, the sources added, Japan was in the process of converting all its helicopter carriers into aircraft carriers. Australia, they said, had helicopter carriers that are equipped to operate fighter aircraft in a jiffy.
 

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Navy sources said shore-based air operations, as preferred by the CDS, were still limited by range, and this is where the aircraft carriers came into play.

That is mainly dependent on the type of aircraft. Just 2 squadrons of shore based PAK FA will take care of the range problem. A single PAK FA with 2 drop tanks can circumnavigate the entire island of Sumatra. With at least 2 A330 refuelers and 3 P-8I supporting the fleet.

While I do agree that the navy needs a third carrier, the combination of A330, P-8I and PAK FA is a much better option until supercarriers come in.

The Russian MoD signed a $2.6B deal with Sukhoi for the delivery of 76 PAK FA. So the total unit cost of a PAK FA in Russia is about $35M. This is primarily because the Russian currency has depreciated by twice over the last few years. If we consider older prices, then the PAK FA would have cost $70M for obvious reasons. The point is, the PAK FA is very cheap. Let's assume it will cost us $50M per jet.

Another point is it's been designed to use a lot of the Flanker's infrastructure as well, so set up costs in India will also be cheap. And if we consider CPFH similar to an MKI, then we are talking about $12000 per hour or $72M for 6000 hours. For 5 years, it would be about $10M per jet or $400M for 40 jets, PBL. Add $1B for weapons and the same for infrastructure. So the total deal will cost no more than $4.5B for a vanilla version or at least $5B for a customised version. Do note that the $72M is based on Indian prices, Russian prices could be half that.

Add $300M each for the 2 refuelers and 3 P-8Is, you get a significantly advanced jet with range covering the entire region between Malacca and Aden for less than $7B, which is significantly cheaper than the Rafale deal. This will in fact free up the other 2 carriers for other missions without the navy having to worry about lack of aircraft for protecting our skies.

Otoh, the carrier itself will cost $10B. 57 jets from MRCBF will cost an additional $15B (already overpriced compared to PAK FA). An SSN has to be earmarked for protecting the carrier, which could cost $1.5B. Just 4 destroyer and frigate escorts would cost as much as $6B. Then there's supply ships, AWACS, transports and helicopters, which may cost another $2B. So about $36B right there for something PAK FA can do for just $7B. Let's not even talk about personnel and maintenance costs, both on board and off board which could number in the many thousands. Do note that I have overestimated the price of the PAK FAs and underestimated the cost of the 3rd carrier.

Oh, since the navy wants to operate 2 carriers a year, you have to double many of the above costs, especially for the escorts, even if the smaller carrier and Mig-29K air wing are much cheaper than Vishal. Which means as many as 2 SSNs and 6-8 destroyers and frigates will end up serving as rather pointless escort ships every year.

If you double the PAK FA fleet, then the combined firepower of 80 jets is many times greater than all 3 carriers put together, and is available 24/7.

@vstol Jockey @Picdelamirand-oil
 
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My opinion is bound to be a little biased!

But I'm still going to give some arguments. An aircraft carrier is not only a military tool, it is also a political tool that sends a message to opponents that things could get worse if they continue to exaggerate.

It also allows you to put it in an area where unrest is likely to occur without knowing exactly what kind of unrest it will be. And if they do occur, you will be more responsive with more options available to you.

Finally, it is a tool that allows the projection of forces at distant, very distant place: this is necessary if you want to have a global role.
If we do not go for the third carrier in near future, we might go for another 24 Mig-29K and that will be sufficient to meet the needs of two carriers.
MiG 29 is crap, nobody wants it.
 

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My opinion is bound to be a little biased!

But I'm still going to give some arguments. An aircraft carrier is not only a military tool, it is also a political tool that sends a message to opponents that things could get worse if they continue to exaggerate.

It also allows you to put it in an area where unrest is likely to occur without knowing exactly what kind of unrest it will be. And if they do occur, you will be more responsive with more options available to you.

Finally, it is a tool that allows the projection of forces at distant, very distant place: this is necessary if you want to have a global role.

MiG 29 is crap, nobody wants it.
I fully agree with your views about carriers. The kind of force projection and the kind of sea control a carrier can do is impossible thru anyother assets. Airpower at sea is the defining force in sea battles since WW2. I too want IN to go for the third carrier and also go for modified LHDs which can carry fixed wing compliment with ski jump and arrestor wires and angled deck. That will effectively give us seven carriers. If you do deep study of LHDs and their use, it will be very clear that they can be used indepedently against most nations in IOR as most nations in IOR have very small air forces or have none. Use of LHDs against strong opponents will need full support of CBGs. But if a small force led by LHDs does not have a small compiment of 12-16 fixed wing fighters, they will require a legacy CBG to support them and that will make the force an "Overkill".

Regarding Mig-29Ks, I do agree with you as far as maintenance is concerned but not so much about their combat potential.
 
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My opinion is bound to be a little biased!

But I'm still going to give some arguments. An aircraft carrier is not only a military tool, it is also a political tool that sends a message to opponents that things could get worse if they continue to exaggerate.

It also allows you to put it in an area where unrest is likely to occur without knowing exactly what kind of unrest it will be. And if they do occur, you will be more responsive with more options available to you.

Finally, it is a tool that allows the projection of forces at distant, very distant place: this is necessary if you want to have a global role.

MiG 29 is crap, nobody wants it.
Well all STOBAR based aircrafts are crap. But atleast Mig29K is better than Su-33 and its *censored* copy. Mig29K suffers from maintenance issues, not combat ones.
 

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Well all STOBAR based aircrafts are crap. But atleast Mig29K is better than Su-33 and its *censored* copy. Mig29K suffers from maintenance issues, not combat ones.
Very very big statement you made. Can you please elaborate one aircraft which has been designed to take off from carriers and especially from STOBAR carriers? NONE.
You need to design an aircraft which is perfect fit for STOBAR carriers. The TWR of Rafale-M is good for STOBAR but the wing needs to have a sweepback of 40* or less to increase the CLmax.
OR,
They must introduce BLC to the wing to go with full load from STOBAR deck. And for that they will need to put more afterburner thrust to the engines. The take off air requirement for BLC can be supplied thru the APU also. And it can all be made automatic thru software. I have flown A320s and I am in love with French for the aircraft they have made.
 
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Very very big statement you made. Can you please elaborate one aircraft which has been designed to take off from carriers and especially from STOBAR carriers? NONE.
You need to design an aircraft which is perfect fit for STOBAR carriers. The TWR of Rafale-M is good for STOBAR but the wing needs to have a sweepback of 40* or less to increase the CLmax.
OR,
They must introduce BLC to the wing to go with full load from STOBAR deck. And for that they will need to put more afterburner thrust to the engines. The take off air requirement for BLC can be supplied thru the APU also. And it can all be made automatic thru software. I have flown A320s and I am in love with French for the aircraft they have made.
No need to increase CL max!
I went to Jean Claude Hironde's (the father of Rafale) conference in Toulouse and he reported that the French and the US were competing on a US aircraft carrier (the Theodore Roosevelt) to see which of the Rafale or the F18 SH could carry the heaviest load and the Rafale carried a ton more. Which according to Hironde is huge.

They also did a few dog fights, it was so catastrophic for the F18, that they called back some very experienced pilots, same result! They were fooled in less than 30 seconds. The Rafale shoots 1.3 - 2 CL and the other one shoots only 1.
 

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No need to increase CL max!
I went to Jean Claude Hironde's (the father of Rafale) conference in Toulouse and he reported that the French and the US were competing on a US aircraft carrier (the Theodore Roosevelt) to see which of the Rafale or the F18 SH could carry the heaviest load and the Rafale carried a ton more. Which according to Hironde is huge.

They also did a few dog fights, it was so catastrophic for the F18, that they called back some very experienced pilots, same result! They were fooled in less than 30 seconds. The Rafale shoots 1.3 - 2 CL and the other one shoots only 1.
I am aware of what you posted. But for STOBAR carriers, the requirement is that the aircraft reaches its take off safety speed asap and that too with one engine failure. For that to happen, you need to have a very low stall speed in the max load configuration. IN for some very stupid reasons want the aircraft to maintain positive trajectory even after failure of one engine. PLAN and Russians allow the aircraft to descent to the deck height in case of one engine failure to reach take off safety speed. This is same as a CATOBAR launch on deck exit. An aircraft sinks about ten feet on launch from CATOBAR as it loses the ground effect the moment it comes off the deck. But IN for some extremely stupid reasons have put the limitation that the aircraft must maintain positive rate of climb after ski jump launch even if it losses one of its engines. This enforces a lot of limitations as the time available to accelerate doubles if you allow the aircraft to drop down to deck exit height after launch from Ski Ramp. That allows the aircraft to not only accelerate but also allows time for the pilot to jettison all stores from the aircraft which will make the aircraft lighter and reduce the take off safety speed. I had very detailed and heated arguments with IN when I had given presentation for my MSA to them. They had no answer for this stupidity compared to STOBAR and CATOBAR carriers. I still ask, "Why can't you allow a STOBAR aircraft to hit the launch height in its trajectory to accelerate away like a CATOBAR carrier"?