Indian Navy favors 6 nuclear attack submarines over a 3rd aircraft carrier

The development of a third aircraft carrier and its embarked air group for the Indian Navy has a strong symbolic stake in the country. For New Delhi, it is a question of showing in Beijing but also in Islamabad that the Indian Navy now plays in the court of the large Marines of the High Seas, and this all the more so as this third ship must be equipped with catapults, strands of stops, and of modern combat planes, with in sights the development of a new national carrier fighter, the program AMCA. However, and despite all the symbolism that surrounds this program, the Indian Navy has officially informed President Narendra Modi, that under the current circumstances, it was preferable to quickly acquire a fleet of 6 nuclear attack submarines, rather than a 3rd aircraft carrier. This information confirms the statements made a year ago by the Indian Chief of Staff, General Bipin Rawat, which announced that the construction of a third aircraft carrier had little interest in the current context for the Indian Navy.

Indeed, according to the Indian General Staff, the country does not have the vocation, at least in the decades to come, to acquire a significant projection force, for which an aircraft carrier heavier and equipped with catapults would be needed. Conversely, the modernization and rapid expansion of Pakistani fleets, which acquired 4 Type 054A anti-submarine frigates and 8 anaerobic-powered submarines Type 039B With Beijing, but also Chinese, today requires strengthening and modernizing above all the Indian submarine component, the most able to control this antagonistic naval power. And if the new submersibles of P75 programs, based on the Scorpene of Naval Group, and the 6 submarines of the program P75 (i) which must be arbitrated in the coming months, will indeed be able to hold in respect the submarines and the Sino-Pakistani ships which would approach the Indian coasts, the control of the Indian Ocean, it requires submarines otherwise faster and more autonomous, therefore equipped with nuclear propulsion.

INS Khanderi kalvari class scorpene Defense News | Air Independent Propulsion AIP | Army budgets and defense effort
The INS Khanderi, the second vessel of the Kalvari class, was admitted to service in September 2019. It is one of the 3 most modern submarines in service in the Indian Navy.

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  1. […] Since the entry into service of the new springboard and arrester aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in September 2022, the question around the construction of a new ship, heavier and equipped with catapults, has been the subject of many debates in India. Paradoxically, the Indian Navy is clearly, and for several years, very reserved on the relevance of building a ship which wants to be the Indian response to the new Chinese Type 003, with a displacement of more than 65.000 tons and catapults to implement the new TEDBF on-board fighter for Twin Engined Deck Based Fighter, being designed by the national aircraft manufacturer HAL and the Indian arms agency DRDO. According to the Indian admirals, the costs related to the development of such a ship to complete the fleet made up of the two aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya (ex Baku then Admiral Gorshkov acquired from Russia in 2004, and the INS Vikrant, the first ship of local invoice, a 44.000-ton aircraft carrier equipped with a Ski-jump and strands of stops like the Vikramaditya, which must reach a first operational capacity by the end of the year 2023, would deprive it of the necessary credits to expand its fleet of 6 nationally-designed nuclear attack submarines. […]

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