Arresting cables have been installed on INS Vikrant, How good is Indian new aircraft carrier?

Recently, the Indian-made aircraft carrier “Vikrant” made its third sea trial that will involve complex maneuvers to establish specific readings of how the ship performs in various conditions.

If you look closely on the photo published by the Indian Navy, you will sde three arresting cables have been installed. It is speculated that The aircraft take off and land from the carrier will be soon. In addition, the Internet also exposed the picture of the “Vikrant” sailing in formation for the first time.

INS Vikrant aircraft carrier

Don’t underestimate India. India has grown from the first R11 “Vikrant” to the “Virat”, “Vikramaditya”, and today’sbrand new homemade”Vikrant” 3 purchased and 1 built total 4 aircraft carriers. Indian Navy has operated aircraft carriers for more than 60 years, and has actual aircraft carrier experience, which is stronger than china.

At first glance, it seems quite reasonable. India’s first aircraft carrier R11 “Vikrant”, which is the British “Hercules”, was commissioned in November 1961. It was also the first in Asia Aircraft carrier after WW2, It also participated in the second Indo-Pakistani war in 1965 and the third Indo-Pakistani war in 1971, known as “sunk 8 ships of the Pakistan Navy”.

India's first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant
India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant

In 1987, India commissioned the second aircraft carrier “Virat”, which had a full-load displacement of nearly 30,000 tons, which was nearly 10,000 tons larger than the R11 “Vikrant” and can carry 30 carrier-based aircraft, including the vertical take-off and landing version of the Sea Harrier. At that time, India had a dual aircraft carrier fleet at the same time, which was rare at that time or even now.

India's dual aircraft carrier formation in the 1980s
India’s dual aircraft carrier formation in the 1980s

However, these are superficial phenomena. You know, whether it is the R11 “Vikrant” or the “Virat”, these two aircraft carriers are essentially escort aircraft carriers, and they are also equipped with “Sea Harrier” vertical take-off and landing fighters. India has always lacked the operational experience of super aircraft carriers, and it barely filled the gap until it purchased the second-hand aircraft carrier “Vikramaditya” from Russia. And even the “Vikramaditya” has a displacement of only about 45,000 tons, which is still a long way from a real heavy aircraft carrier.

Among them, when the R11 “Vikrant” was first commissioned, it carried the “Seahawk” that took off and landed regularly for a period of time, as well as arresting cables and a catapult, but its technical level was probably similar to what we acquired from Australia. And the dismantled “Melbourne” aircraft carrier is better than nothing. So even India realized this, and quickly modified it, adding the ski-jump deck, and replacing the carrier aircraft with the “Sea Harrier”, which shows that the combat effectiveness of the original “Hercules” is not as good as carrying the “Sea Harrier” escort aircraft carrier.

Let’s talk about the “actual combat” experience of the Indian aircraft carrier. During the second Indo-Pakistani war in 1965, the R11 “Vikrant” did not directly participate in the war, because it was being refitted in the Mumbai shipyard at that time. Seahawk” carrier-based fighter-bombers, under the command of the Indian Air Force, participated in operations against Pakistan.

In the third Indo-Pakistani war in 1971, the R11 “Vikrant” did participate in the war, but the sea area where it mainly appeared was the Bay of Bengal, which was the safest battlefield at that time, because its opponents only had a few ships River boat. The reason why the R11 “Vikrant” hid in the Bay of Bengal was partly because its boilers had serious problems at the time, so it could only sail at a slow speed and lack the necessary maneuverability. The more important reason is that the United States sent an aircraft carrier to the Indian Ocean at that time, and the R11 “Vikrant” wanted to avoid its edge, that is to say, it was passively avoiding.

How good is Vikrant

INS Vikrant has around 40,000 tonnes displacement whereas a super carrier (USN aircraftCarrier) can have more than 1,00,000 tonnes displacement. It is 262 meters (860 ft) long and 62 meters (203 ft) wide, and displaces about 40,000 metric tons (39,000 long tons). It will be able to launch 40 aircraft, including 20 fighter jets and 10 anti submarine helicopters.

The ship will be compatible with the Rafale-M or F/A-18 and will have two runways and a landing strip with STOBAR(short take off but arrested delivery) equipment. The ship can carry 36-40 Total Aircraft fixed-wing aircraft including up to 30 fighter aircraft.

For defence INS VIKRANT has four OTO Melara 76mm dual-purpose cannons, INS Vikrant is also equipped with four AK-630 close-in weapon systems. It also has two 32 cell VLS (Vertical Launch System), capable of firing 64 missiles in total. It is equipped with MRSAM (Barak-8) surface to air missile for air defence.

The range of INS Vikrant is around 15000 km and can travel with the speed of 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph). Vikrant carriers can carry 1500 persons including different chambers for woman.

INS Vikrant uses Gas Turbine, which is more efficient than a Diesel turbine. Flight deck area of INS Vikrant is around 10,000 m sq. INS Vikrant has 14 decks. The hangar of INS Vikrant can support around 20 fighter aircraft

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