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Indian Navy to go for another Vikrant class carrier as IAC-2 to replace INS Vikramaditya; To continue work on 65k tonne supercarrier

Source : The New Indian Express

Indian Navy to go for another Vikrant class carrier as IAC-2 to replace INS Vikramaditya while work on 65k tonne supercarrier will continue
Indian Navy’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1) INS Vikrant

New Delhi: In order to maintain its operational capabilities in future the Indian Navy will continue the 

study for its third indigenous aircraft carrier which will be larger than the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 

(IAC)-2. The Navy has already confirmed to go ahead with the IAC-2 on the lines of the IAC-1 

commissioned as INS Vikrant.

Admiral R Hari Kumar confirmed by saying, “Initially we will go for the repeat order with improved 

capabilities and in the meantime, we will go for study of larger carriers. Because the third aircraft which 

will come in and by the time it will be commissioned by that time the life of INS Vikramaditya may end.” 

He was speaking with the media on the sidelines of Aero India 2023.

The earlier plans, as per the Chief of Naval Staff were that “the IAC 2 should be bigger than IAC 1 in size. 

The size of INS Vikrant is 44,000 tonnes and we wanted the IAC2 to be around 65,000 tonnes.” The 

decision for the repeat order of IAC 1 is based on multiple factors including construction time, the cost 

involved and  the trajectory of indigenization of the aviation assets also.

Admiral Hari Kumar said, “When we have to design a new aircraft carrier, it will take time and we 

have to bring new technologies because the present arresting, landing through catapult system is 

being changed now. For new design, the ship-building facility will have to be upgraded. So we thought 

if we went for the repeat order the work would start soon.”

“Operationally, new technologies and drones are coming in that can be launched from the carrier 

that can enhance operational capabilities.  The Indian Navy requires three aircraft carriers because 

the ship if it goes for maintenance, it takes time,” he added. Aircraft carriers are known to have 

lengthy maintenance schedules. The cycle of maintenance can lead to an absence of a carrier for 

years, as has been the case with the refit of India’s lone Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya 

which started at the beginning of 2021 and still continues. It has been delayed due to a fire 

onboard in July.

With one aircraft carrier still under maintenance and one yet to be inducted, the Indian Navy 

will be operating without one for some more time. The Navy has been maintaining the three 

carriers-based force structure so that it can operate two of them in maritime zones on 

each side of the Indian coastline — eastern and western coasts. INS Vikramaditya was 

originally a Russian carrier — Admiral Gorshkov — was commissioned in 2013 after 

total refurbishing. The 44,500-tonne INS Vikramaditya has an airfield with an overall 

length of about 284 meters. As reported by TNIE in December, the Navy completed all the 

documentation work on the repeat orders and it is expected that the approvals from the 

government will come soon. The new aircraft carrier is also expected to be of 45,000 

displacements and STOBAR technology.  

As enunciated by the Navy Chief the timeline would match India’s push for self-reliance 

aim even to indigenise the aviation complex and it might match up with the production 

of the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF). TEDBF is being designed for the Navy 

and officials of the HAL have been claiming it to be ready for commissioning by 2032. 

Even if a decision on the carrier is taken today, it will take over a year to begin the 

process of manufacturing, defence sources told this newspaper.



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