Navy chief Sunil Lanba focuses on carrier battle groups to enhance blue-water capability

Process for bringing in a third aircraft carrier has also been moved, says the Navy chief.

Published: 03rd December 2018 04:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2018 03:39 AM   |  A+A-

Delhi Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba at a press conference in New Delhi Monday Dec 3 2018. | PTI

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba has impressed upon the need for carrier battle groups for the country’s blue water capabilities and to keep it’s role in the Indian Ocean Region in focus.

The navy chief, while speaking at the Navy’s Annual Press Conference, said, “The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) 1 is presently in its third and final phase of construction at Kochi. The sea trials of the ship are expected to commence mid-2020. Induction of Vikrant will provide significant fillip to the navy’s blue water capability.”

He added, “We have been working on the IAC 2 in the Naval HQs where we have decided on the form and the size of the carrier. It is going to be a conventionally powered,with a tonnage of 65,000 tons. The construction might take seven to ten years and the process will start in two to three years.”

“A third carrier is important which gives the operational capability of having at least two carrier battle groups available at any given time. If we have three aircraft carriers, at least one can be under refit or the period of maintenance, ”he added.

Referring to induction of women as sailors, he said, “We are going to setup a study which will examine the issue and based on it we  will decide.”

Strengthening fleet

32 ships and submarines are presently under construction in Indian shipyards. These include the aircraft carrier Vikrant, P-15B class destroyers, P17A class stealth frigates, P28 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvettes, offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and Scorpene class submarines

India’s Indigenous Aircraft Career 2 will be a conventionally powered, catapult-assisted take-off but with arrested recovery for the launch and recovery of the aircraft launched from the carrier’s deck with
about 65,000 tons.

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