"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

India's new aircraft carrier to counter China's growing navy

China's submarines worry Indian Navy
India launches a new aircraft carrier to help counter China.

An increasing number of Chinese submarines venturing into the Indian Ocean Region pose a grave danger to India’s security interests, a classified Indian defence ministry document has revealed.

Citing subsurface contact data shared by US forces, the document said at least 22 contacts were recorded with vessels suspected to be Chinese attack submarines patrolling outside Beijing’s territorial waters last year.

It has warned that the “implicit focus” of the Chinese navy appears to be undermining the Indian Navy’s edge “to control highly-sensitive sea lines of communication” reports the Hindustan Times.

The Gwadar, Pakistan port, seen as the latest example of China’s ‘String of Pearls’ — strategic attempts to surround India with facilities that can be upgraded to naval bases — also has the navy worried. The port, located in southwest Pakistan, is operated by China.

The Chinese navy’s extended patrols may fully overlap with the Indian Navy’s area of operation.

China has set up a network of ports/facilities in Bangladesh (Chittagong), Myanmar (Sittwe and Coco Island), Sri Lanka (Hambantota), Pakistan (Gwadar) and has also secured docking rights in Seychelles, in what some describe as the culmination of the ‘String-of-Pearls’ strategy.

Experts, however, think the strategy is overrated and will not dilute India's influence in the region.

"Converting a port or token port facilities into a naval base is a huge leap. I don't think China can do that," said strategic affairs expert Rear Admiral (retd) Raja Menon. "Also, any country that allows China to do that will risk India's enmity."

Chinese submarines in Indian Ocean. (HT Photo)

INS Vikrant
Naval milestone: India launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier 
at a shipyard in Kochi, Kerala state.

Elite list: India now joins a group of just four other countries - the U.S., Russia, France
and Britain - capable of building an air craft carrier

Read more:
UK Daily Mail.

Indian Navy's first homemade carrier

The INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, was launched at Cochin Shipyard Limited on Monday, catapulting the country to an elite club of nations that can design and build 40,000-tonne aircraft carriers.

The aircraft carrier was launched by Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s wife Elizabeth Antony. She broke a coconut and christened the warship amid the showering of floral petals and release of Tricolor balloons. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral D.K. Joshi, Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan, Chairman of Cochin Shipyard Commodore K. Subramaniam and a few Kerala Ministers were present.
The Navy acquired its first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant in 1961, which played a decisive role in the 1971 India-Pakistan war. It was decommissioned in January 1997. The new Vikrant, which touched water on Monday, will undergo outfitting till 2016. Thereafter, it will go for basin trials and extensive sea trials. It is likely to be commissioned in 2018 reports The Hindu.
Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov, now named Vikramaditya, is due to join the Navy by the year-end. The Navy already has INS Viraat, 28,000-tonne aircraft carrier.

India launches first indigenous aircraft carrier 'INS Vikrant'

INS Vikrant, first indigenous aircraft launched


Vikrant will be capable of operating a mixture of Russian
MiG-29K and Light Combat Aircraft.
“The launching of the indigenous aircraft carrier marks just the first step in a long journey, but at the same time an important one,’’ Antony said. It was a proud moment for the country in terms of achieving self-reliance in warship design and construction as only a handful advanced countries in the world have such capabilities to build aircraft carriers, he pointed out.
He said the Indian Navy, over the years, had made a distinct shift from a buyer’s navy to a builder’s navy. He urged industry to participate wholeheartedly in shipbuilding programmes. Besides the indigenous aircraft carrier, Cochin Shipyard had orders for 25 ships, consisting of platform support vessels for international clients and fast patrol vessels for the Coast Guard. The achievement of the shipyard reflected the new era of industrial growth in Kerala.
Admiral Joshi lauded the big boost to the Navy in its capabilities, saying 60 per cent of ships and submarines being built for the Navy were being constructed in Indian shipyards. Out of 47 warships, destroyers, and other vessels on order, 46 were being built at defence public sector or private shipyards in the country.
The launch of the indigenous aircraft carrier came within days of the country’s first indigenous nuclear submarine Arihant’s nuclear reactor going critical. This year, the Navy pressed into service P8I aircraft from the U.S. to keep surveillance, and is scheduled to get a Kolkata-class destroyer and a P28 ASW Corvette as well.

Vikrant will be capable of operating a mixture of Russian MiG-29K and Light Combat Aircraft, being developed by HAL. Its helicopter component will include Kamov 31 and the indigenously developed Advanced Light Helicopter. The aircraft carrier will have long-range, surface-to-air missile and close-in weapon system. It will be equipped with the most modern C/D bank early warning radar, tactical air navigational and direction finding systems.

The String of Pearls
 The network of Chinese military and commercial facilities and relationships (marked by red-yellow stars) along its sea lines of communication, which extend from the Chinese mainland to Port Sudan.
The sea lines run through several major maritime choke points such as the Strait of Mandeb, the Strait of Malacca, the Strait of Hormuz and the Lombok Strait, as well as other strategic maritime centers in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Somalia.
(String of Pearls)

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