Source : The Print
New Delhi: The Indian Navy has put on hold its plans to design and build a larger indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC), known as IAC 2, and is looking at the possibility of a repeat order of the recently commissioned INS Vikrant.
This means that while the Navy wants a third aircraft carrier, it is now looking at ordering another 42,800-tonne displacement Vikrant-class ship unlike the earlier plans to build a larger carrier.
Addressing the annual press conference on the eve of Navy Day, Navy Chief Admiral Hari Kumar said that the Navy is still working on what kind of size the IAC 2 should have and its capabilities. “Right now, the plans have been put on hold because we just commissioned Vikrant,” he said.
Admiral Kumar said given that the Vikrant’s construction process has led to a lot of expertise and creation of a large number of medium enterprises in the ship building process, “we are contemplating whether we should look at a repeat order of IAC 1”.
He said that this was still in discussion stage and the Navy has not made up its mind yet and has also not approached the government for the same.
As reported by ThePrint earlier, the government is of the opinion that the Navy should focus on building more submarines, rather than go in for a third aircraft carrier.
Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) late Gen Bipin Rawat had openly said that an aircraft carrier was a costly liability and a sitting duck for modern long range anti-ship missiles.
On the other hand, the Indian Navy believes that carriers are important and points out that the Chinese are also investing in carriers. However, other sources said that China first focussed on submarines and was now focusing on carriers as part of its global ambitions to project power overseas and challenge the US.