Why India wants another aircraft carrier – Asia Times

Why India wants another aircraft carrier - Asia Times

With plans for a second aircraft carrier, India is pursuing an American strategy to defend its defenses, underscoring Delhi’s geopolitical concern that a two-front naval conflict with Pakistan and China exist in the Indian Ocean.

According to a report from Naval News, India is considering purchasing a second aeroplane carrier based on the design of its INS Vikrant. The assimilation plan includes local manufacturing of launching aircraft’s arresting and restraining equipment, both of which were originally purchased from Russia. By 2028, India aims to had three of each program available, according to the report.

Naval News notes that India is pressing to expand its use of Precision Approach Radar for plane companies in its own country in 2031 as a result of the country’s trade restrictions on the systems.

However, different parts of the MiG- 29K provider- based warrior may be made in India, including the Multi- Function Display, Integrated Standby Instrument System, tires, ground support equipment, chaff and flares.

India is furthermore putting in a bid to repair the MiG-29K landing gear, self-protection transceiver, air creation system, and Optical Locator Station on its own.

In addition, according to Naval News, India intends to purchase six additional P-8I Poseidon long-range maritime patrol aircraft ( MPA ), while DRDO and India’s Defense Research and Development Organization ( DRDO ) are developing medium-range MPAs based on the Airbus C-295.

India’s programs for a second aircraft carrier may encounter the same difficulties as its long-awaited INS Vikrant, its second aircraft carrier made entirely in India.

In August 2022, Asia Times outlined the problems encountered over the 13 times it took India to create the INS Vikrant, ranging from professional issues, financing and getting challenges, and fraud.

To maintain constant security on its maritime borders, India requires three aircraft carriers. One carrier would be maintained and refitted while the other would be deployed at sea.

A larger 55, 000-ton version of the INS Vikrant design, according to Cochin Shipyard Limited ( CSL), could be finished in five years.

Plans for a third carrier may take some time because the Indian Ministry of Defense is currently working toward advancing the development of nuclear-powered submarines.

The scope of India’s ambitions as an aircraft carrier will be affected by a number of factors. Sarabjeet Parmar claims in a September 2023 article for the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies ( RSIS ) that plans for a third Indian carrier may quickly rekindle the debate between defense planners and policymakers regarding costs and operational efficiency.

Parmar points out that due to a lack of funding and training facilities for officers and sailors, the previous fleet expansion plans for the Indian Navy had to be broken up into several phases.

He claims that India’s current need for a strong and well-rounded military, with aircraft carriers playing a crucial role, is underpinned by the rapidly changing security landscape in relation to China and Pakistan.

The Indian Navy places an emphasis on establishing sea control or denial in more than one area while adhering to a carrier-centric sea control naval operational concept.

India can use aircraft carriers to combat a two-front naval conflict between Pakistan and China, which both have important roles to play.

Sanjay Sachdeva claims in an article for the Indian Naval War College Journal that the Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers could provide power projection and blockade enforcement in a conflict with Pakistan.

Sachdeva warns against this because geography favors Pakistan because it can quickly re-route maritime trade routes closer to its littorals.

Robert Beckhusen mentions that Pakistan has several ways to attack India’s aircraft carriers in a March 2021 article for The National Interest ( TNI).

In a conflict, Beckhusen claims that India’s small deck carriers would have to maneuver close to Pakistan’s borders and be within striking distance of anti-ship missile and aircraft from Pakistan.

He adds that Pakistani aircraft’s threat could cause India’s carriers to devote a sizable portion of their wings to fleet air defense, limiting their ability to strike at Pakistani targets.

Prashant Suhas and Christopher Colley mention in a War on the Rocks article that while China’s People’s Liberation Army ( PLA-N) is both qualitatively and quantitatively ahead of the Indian Navy, it is not yet prepared for a conflict in the Indian Ocean.

The authors note that China is slowly addressing its shortcomings, including the lack of resupply bases and inadequate air cover for its warships operating in the Indian Ocean, despite India’s persistent home field advantage.

Noting India’s home- field advantage in the Indian Ocean, Yang Zhen notes in a November 2021 Cfist. According to an article on The New York Times that India uses three concentric “fences” to assert its maritime denial strategy. &nbsp,

Zhen refers to the first fence as the” total control zone,” which extends from India’s coasts to the sea area up to 500 nautical miles. The second fence is the “medium control zone”, defined as sea areas within 500- 1, 000 nautical miles. The” soft control zone,” which includes the rest of the Indian Ocean, is the third fence.

He claims that the Indian Navy uses sea denial as a successful method to secure the medium control zone and stop potential adversaries from advancing to the total control zone.

While four carrier battlegroups can control almost one million square kilometers of sea space, carrier-based aircraft can control 800 x 1, 000 kilometers of airspace. She adds that airstrikes can be carried out on aircraft carriers as well as as platforms for conducting land attacks.