INS Vishal

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History
India
Name: INS Vishal
Builder: Cochin Shipyard Limited
Commissioned: 2030s (expected)
Status: Planned (design phase)
General characteristics
Displacement: 65,000 tonnes[1][2]
Propulsion: Integrated electric propulsion[3][4]
Aircraft carried: 55 (35 fixed-wing and 20 rotary-wing) (planned)[5][6][7]

INS Vishal, also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 2 (IAC-2), is a planned aircraft carrier to be built by Cochin Shipyard Limited for the Indian Navy. It is intended to be the second aircraft carrier to be built in India after INS Vikrant (IAC-1), and the first supercarrier to be built in India. The proposed design of the second carrier class will be a new design, featuring significant changes from Vikrant, including an increase in displacement. An Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) CATOBAR system is also under consideration.[8] Its name Vishal means 'giant' in Sanskrit.[9]

Design and development[edit]

In April 2011, Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma stated that construction of the second carrier was some years away as there were a number of higher spending priorities for the navy.[10] The design stage of IAC-2 began in 2012, and was undertaken by the navy's Naval Design Bureau. The navy decided not to seek outside help in preparing the design concept and implementation plans, but might seek help from the Russian Design Bureau later to integrate Russian aircraft into Vishal. IAC-2 is proposed to be a flat-top carrier with a displacement of 65,000 tonnes and might have a CATOBAR system, unlike the STOBAR system on IAC-1.[2][11][12][13] On 13 May 2015, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) allotted Rs.30 crore for initial construction planning process of INS Vishal.[14][15]

In May 2015, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Robin K. Dhowan initially floated the possibility of nuclear propulsion, saying that that "all options are open for the second indigenous aircraft carrier. Nothing has been ruled out."[8] The initial plan for the aircraft carrier included nuclear propulsion system[16] but this was later changed to an integrated electric propulsion system due to the complexities involved in developing a nuclear reactor with a capacity of 500 to 550 megawatts that would possibly take 15 to 20 years.[17][18]

The Indian Navy also reached out to four international defence companies for suggestions with the design of Vishal, with letters of request sent to the British BAE Systems, French DCNS, American Lockheed Martin and Russian Rosoboronexport on 15 July 2015, according to a report in Jane's Navy International.[19] The letter asked the companies to "provide technical and costing proposals" for the IAC-2 program.[19]

In 2013, the Indian Navy reportedly sought to equip the aircraft carrier with EMALS, which could enable the launching of larger aircraft as well as unmanned combat aerial vehicles.[20] General Atomics, the developer of EMALS, also gave a briefing of the technology to Indian Navy officers with the permission of the US Government.[9] In April 2015, US Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Frank Kendall stated that the Obama administration was supportive of selling EMALS to India, amongst other technologies.[21] A Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Cooperation was also formed between India and the United States to collaborate on the design and development of aircraft carriers, with the first meeting between Indian Navy and United States Navy naval officers held in August 2015.[22] In October 2017, just ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to India, the Trump administration approved the release of technology for the EMALS for Vishal.[23]

On 3 December 2018, Chief of the Naval Staff Sunil Lanba told media that the work on Vishal had moved ahead and the construction of the ship is expected to begin in 3 years.[24][25] Initially, the carrier was expected to enter service by the 2020s,[9][26] but the expected date of completion was later postponed to the 2030s.[27]

British newspaper Daily Mirror reported on 5 May 2019 that India was in talks with the United Kingdom to purchase the detailed plans for HMS Queen Elizabeth to use as the basis of INS Vishal's design.[28][29]

Battle group organisation[edit]

Naval planners believe that, with INS Vishal likely to enter service in the early 2020s, they should plan on operating UCAVs from that carrier, as well as an fixed wing ASW aircraft, and medium and light fighters. According to a naval planner, it "could greatly expand our mission envelope with UCAVs, using the pilot-less aircraft for high-risk reconnaissance and SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses). Mid-air refueling would let us keep UCAVs on mission for 24–36 hours continuously, since pilot fatigue would not be a factor."[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Indian Navy Carrier Delegation Meets With U.S. Counterparts, Visits Carrier Ford". USNI News. Archived from the original on 11 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b "India plans a 65,000-tonne warship". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014.
  3. ^ "NS Vishal Not to be Nuclear-powered as BARC Says 15 Years Will be Needed to Develop Reactor". 27 October 2017. Archived from the original on 29 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Eye on future, India mulls options for nuclear-powered aircraft carrier]". Times of India. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 28 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Dassault pitches Rafale M for Indian Navy's IAC-II". IHS Jane's 360. 12 February 2016. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 December 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Gady, Franz-Stefan (14 July 2018). "Future of India's Supercarrier Program Still Uncertain". The Diplomat.
  8. ^ a b Tribune News Service. "Navy's wish list: 6 nuke subs, N-powered carrier". Tribune India. Archived from the original on 17 January 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d Shukla, Ajai (31 May 2013). "Navy eyes high-tech options for future aircraft carriers". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 15 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Second indigenous carrier a long way off: Navy Chief". The Hindu. 28 April 2011. Archived from the original on 18 December 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  11. ^ "India starts work on second indigenous aircraft carrier". IBN Live. 17 July 2012. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  12. ^ "US expert: Washington should help India develop next-gen aircraft carriers". The Big News Network. 2 May 2015. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  13. ^ Panda, Ankit (23 April 2015). "US-India Collaboration on Aircraft Carriers: A Good Idea?". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Govt gives nod to new aircraft carrier, BrahMos missiles for six ships". Zeenews. 13 May 2015. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  15. ^ Pandit, Rajat (13 May 2015). "Defence ministry clears projects worth Rs 25,000 crore". Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  16. ^ Bhat, Aditya. "INS Vishal, India's next aircraft carrier, will be nuclear-powered: Report". International Business Times, India Edition. Archived from the original on 12 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  17. ^ Desk, India.com News (27 October 2017). "INS Vishal Not to be Nuclear-powered as BARC Says 15 Years Will be Needed to Develop Reactor". India.com. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Indian Navy won't get a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier anytime soon". Moneycontrol. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  19. ^ a b "India Asks International Defense Firms for Help With New Aircraft Carrier Design". USNI News. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Indian Navy seeks EMALS system for second Vikrant-class aircraft carrier". Naval Technology. 30 May 2013. Archived from the original on 12 August 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  21. ^ "US defence secretary to visit India in May to push aircraft carrier technologies". The Times of India. 5 April 2015. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  22. ^ "U.S.-India aircraft carrier working group holds inaugural meeting". Reuters India. 21 August 2015. Archived from the original on 4 November 2015.
  23. ^ "US Just Agreed To Give India Electromagnetic Launch System For INS Vishal Aircraft Carrier". indiatimes.com. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  24. ^ "Navy Looking at Inducting 56 Warships And Submarines: Admiral Lanba". NDTV.com. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  25. ^ ANI (3 December 2018). "Indian Navy keen to have third aircraft carrier". Business Standard India. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  26. ^ Sharma, Ritu (6 August 2012). "India plans a 65,000-tonne warship". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  27. ^ Shukla, Ajai (7 November 2016). "Navy's second home-built carrier will be nuclear, but will come only in 2030s". Business Standard. New Delhi. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016.
  28. ^ Nelson, Nigel (5 May 2019). "India building copycat version of Britain's HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  29. ^ "India, UK in talks to build copycat Naval supercarrier: Report". The Economic Times. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019.