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Author: Subject: Indian Navy 2017 onwards
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[*] posted on 1-10-2019 at 08:16 PM


Indian Navy inaugurates first aircraft carrier dry dock

Gabriel Dominguez, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

30 September 2019


The Indian Navy's first aircraft carrier dry dock (seen here accommodating a Kolkata [Project 15A]-class destroyer) was inaugurated in a ceremony held on 28 September at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. Source: Indian Navy

The Indian Navy's (IN's) largest dry dock to date was inaugurated on 28 September at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai in a ceremony presided over by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Named 'Aircraft Carrier Dry Dock', the 281-m long, 45-m wide, and 17-m deep facility is capable of accommodating INS Vikramaditya (ex- Admiral Gorshkov ), the service's sole 44,750-tonne refurbished Kiev-class carrier, as well as ships of up to 90,000 tonnes, said the IN in a statement, adding that the construction of the dock required "innovative and extreme engineering methods".

"While most dry docks are constructed by excavating into the land and then providing access to the sea, the Aircraft Carrier Dry Dock is built into the sea: a technique requiring 38 caissons [watertight steel sections] to drain out sea water before construction could commence," said the IN.

The dry dock has more than one kilometre of berthing space with sectioning to allow multiple warships to be docked, said the service, adding that this will result in faster turnaround time for maintenance and refit routines of IN warships.

The dry dock is also expected to be used to maintain and repair Vikrant , the second aircraft carrier on order for the IN, which is currently being built by Cochin Shipyard Limited.

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[*] posted on 1-10-2019 at 08:22 PM


India commissions second Project 75 submarine

Richard Scott, London - Jane's Navy International

30 September 2019


INS Khanderi was commissioned on 28 September at Naval Dockyard Mumbai. Source: Richard Scott/NAVYPIX

The Indian Navy commissioned the Project 75 submarine INS Khanderi on 28 September at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai.

Built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai under a transfer of technology partnership with France's Naval Group, Khanderi is the second of six Scorpene diesel-electric boats being delivered under Project 75. First-of-class INS Kalveri was delivered in September 2017 and commissioned in December 2017.

Naval Group - through what was then Armaris - was in October 2005 contracted as partner to MDL for the execution of the Project 75 programme. As well as providing a comprehensive transfer of technology package to MDL to support the upgrade of the yard and construction of all six boats in-country, the company has also qualified a number of local companies to establish a submarine supplier base.

Khanderi (yard no 11876) was handed over to the navy by MDL on 19 September. Speaking at the commissioning event, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh said that the four remaining boats were all at various stages of trials or construction.

"The third, Karanj , has commenced sea trials and has achieved her maximum operating depth," said Adm Singh. "The fourth submarine, Vela , was launched in May [2019] and will shortly commence sea trials. The fifth and sixth submarines are being outfitted and will be launched in 2020 and 2021 respectively."

Khanderi 's delivery brings to a conclusion Naval Group's technical assistance role in the Project 75 programme. While the company will continue to provide technical and design support when called upon, MDL is taking full responsibility for the delivery of the four remaining submarines.

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[*] posted on 2-10-2019 at 12:13 PM


LCA (Navy) Crosses Path Breaking Milestone: Complete cycle of launch and recovery accomplished in a single sortie

(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued Sept. 30, 2019)


The naval variant of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft for the first time accomplished both a take-off from ski-jump (photo) and an arrested landing during a single sortie on Sept. 29, which the Indian MoD called a seminal achievement. (Indian MoD photo)

A seminal achievement was accomplished in the quest for technologies related to operation of indigenous fighter aircraft from aircraft carriers. On 29 September, 2019, LCA Naval Prototype-2 launched off the ski jump at 1621 hours and then subsequently “trapped” at 1631 hrs on the arresting gear site (both locations situated at Shore Based Test Facility INS Hansa, Goa).

While both these activities had been achieved individually earlier, this was the first occasion when the complete cycle of launch and recovery necessary for aircraft carrier operations was accomplished in a single sortie.

Being a pioneering technology acquisition and demonstration program for the unique Short Take-Off but Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) concept of aircraft operations, the LCA (Navy) team has had to conceptualise and experiment with complex software modes from a clean slate. All this had to be done while tentatively exploring and incrementally expanding the structural capabilities of the aircraft to withstand the brutal requirements of carrier operations.

The exploratory nature of this stage of the programme necessitates experimentation with multiple software options and hardware configurations. These include multiple configurations of aerodynamic surfaces, different flight control strategies, avionics tools and display symbols to ease the piloting task, multiple iterations to the “mechanicals” (dampers/structural members/contact points) etc.

Comprehensive and seamless integration of all these experimental variants simultaneously into a single platform is therefore not possible till all options have been evaluated and the preferred configuration has been decided. The events on September 29, 2019, therefore, demonstrate the completion of the basic exploration phase of the programme and transition to refinement and improvement iterations.

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO, ADA, HAL and Indian Navy for this major feat. Secretary, Department of Defence, R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr. G Satheesh Reddy also congratulated DRDO, ADA, HAL and Indian Navy for the achievement.

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[*] posted on 12-10-2019 at 01:56 PM


Turkish Shipyard’s Pakistan Links May Nix Its $2.3 Billion India Deal

(Source: Economic Times; published Oct. 10, 2019)

By Manu Pubby

NEW DELHI --- A $2.3-billion deal to build fleet support vessels in collaboration with a Turkish shipyard has come into question after security concerns were raised over the firm, including links with Pakistan.

Turkey’s TAIS had emerged as the lowest bidder in June this year, following a global competition, for a contract to manufacture five of the 45,000-tonne fleet support vessels (FSV) at the Vizag-based Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL).

Turkish shipyards are a major supplier of warships to the Pakistani Navy and concerns have been raised in India on how access to the strategic HSL by its engineers and workers can result in serious security issues.

HSL is located close to the Ship Building Centre, where India’s nuclear armed submarines are built and the Eastern Naval Command has its headquarters.

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had used the ceremony to launch new corvettes for the Pakistani Navy last month to once again talk about the Kashmir issue.

Erdogan said that he would continue to raise the issue at global platforms and attempted to draw parallels between the Kashmir issue and the Palestine conflict. The platform was also used by the Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi for anti-India propaganda.

Besides four new corvettes, Turkey has designed a fleet support vessel for Pakistan and has signed a deal to sell 30 T129 attack helicopters that have been developed in collaboration with Italian company Finmeccanica (since renamed Leonardo). (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Economic Times website.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/turkish-sh...

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[*] posted on 1-11-2019 at 09:51 AM


DRDO’s Air Independent Propulsion System Gets Boost with Operation of Land-Based Prototype

(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued Oct 30, 2019)

Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) has a force multiplier effect on lethality of a diesel electric submarine as it enhances the submerged endurance of the boat, several folds. Fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) programme to build a fuel cell-based AIP system for Indian Naval Submarines has crossed several milestones in technology maturity.

Operation of the land-based prototype engineered to the form-and-fit of a submarine was witnessed by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh in the presence of Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G. Satheesh Reddy at the Naval Materials Research Laboratory in Ambernath, Maharashtra today.

In his remarks, the Chief of the Naval Staff appreciated the breakthrough accomplishments achieved in this programme and said that the programme is of great value to the nation and Indian Navy in particular. He urged DRDO and Indian Navy to continue the partnership to meet the timelines set for short and long-term goals.

The DRDO Chairman assured that all efforts will be made to meet the performance standards and timelines of the programme so that induction of DRDO AIP into operational Submarines could be achieved as per Indian Navy schedule.

Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (West), Chief of Material Indian Navy, Director General (Naval Systems & Materials), Director General (Armament & Combat Engineering Systems), Director (Naval Materials Research Laboratory) and Directors of participating laboratories were present on the occasion.

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[*] posted on 1-11-2019 at 09:54 AM


Aircraft Carriers – The Keystone to India’s Maritime Security

(Source: Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, IDSA; issued Oct 30, 2019)

After spending a day at sea on board INS Vikramaditya, on September 29, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh conveyed the essence of sea power by referring to the aircraft carrier as the “Sikandar of Samundar” (emperor of the seas).1 This statement assumes significance in the context of the ongoing debate on the viability of investing in the aircraft carrier programme.

Historically, sea-based aviation has played a vital role in naval affairs. The legendary carrier battles of World War II symbolised its utility and diverse mission sets, which continued to be demonstrated in various combat operations since 1945. The carrier has retained its prestige, making it an essential component of navies and indispensable to their strategic interests.

However, the aircraft carrier is the largest and most complex of all warships and, in most cases, also the most expensive, which stirs the quintessential debate within policy circles over the advisability of investing in carriers. Considering the proliferation of numerous anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) integrated weapon systems with navies across the world, the naysayers have fashionably sounded the carrier’s death knell for the umpteenth time, arguing that the world’s biggest warships cannot hide in an era of precision-guided missiles and reconnaissance satellites. This criticism notwithstanding, mature and strong navies have continued to build, operate and exploit this lethal platform for a multitude of roles including power projection, land attack from sea, securing sea lines of communication (SLOCs), security of island territories, and diplomacy and numerous non-combat missions.

Aircraft Carriers with World Navies

All major maritime powers have aircraft carriers in their naval inventories. The United States (US) operates 11 nuclear powered carriers, with the intent to maintain a twelve-carrier force into the future.2 The United Kingdom (UK) recently commissioned HMS Queen Elizabeth, with a second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, in the final stages of construction. Russia, Italy and France all operate one aircraft carrier each, while Japan is in the process of converting its helicopter carrier into an aircraft carrier.3 The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy today is operating two operational aircraft carriers and the third is under construction. It is likely that the PLA Navy will have four operational aircraft carriers by 2028, with the eventual aim of having a 10 aircraft carrier navy by 2049.4

India’s Experience

In 1961, India joined a select band of nations that had mastered the arduous task of carrier operations with the commissioning of Vikrant. 25 years later, India became one of the few nations to operate two aircraft carriers with the acquisition of Viraat in 1986. India currently operates only one carrier, INS Vikramaditya (erstwhile Admiral Gorshkov of Russia), which was commissioned in 2013. Even as India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-I), to be named Vikrant, is being manufactured by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and is supposed to be completed in 20215, it has already embarked on its follow-on induction, likely to be named Vishal (IAC-II), which is expected to be much larger and more potent.

A three-carrier force would allow the Indian Navy to operate one carrier task force (CTF) comfortably on each seaboard. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the IDSA website.

https://idsa.in/issuebrief/aircraft-carriers-india-maritime-...

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[*] posted on 9-1-2020 at 09:16 PM


9 January 2020 News

Indian Navy’s first indigenous carrier under Phase III construction


INS Vikrant during its launch in August 2013. Credit: Drajay1976.

The Indian Navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is currently under the third phase of construction.

An unidentified source told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that the carrier Vikrant will join the navy by 2021.

The 260m-long and 60m-wide carrier is the largest warship being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi, India.

The source was quoted by PTI as saying: “Currently, Phase III of the construction of Vikrant is under progress, which involves setting to work of machinery and equipment, like power generation and propulsion machinery.

“The carrier is likely to be commissioned by early 2021.”

Following the completion of the third phase of construction, the 40,000t vessel will undergo harbour and sea trials.

Vikrant will also be put through aviation trials, which are expected to last a year or beyond. The carrier will be capable of handling a fleet of MiG-29K aircraft.

Navy chief admiral Karambir Singh said that Vikrant will achieve full operational capability by 2022.

Last month, the vessel’s engines were fired-up, marking a significant milestone in the long-delayed project. It is equipped with four GE LM2500 gas turbines.

Vikrant features a vertical launch system for long-range surface-to-air missile deployment, a modern early air warning radar, jamming capabilities, and other advanced technologies.

The future INS Vikrant, along with MiG-29K aircraft, is set to be displayed as part of the navy’s parade on the country’s Republic Day.

Currently, INS Vikramadithya is the only operational carrier.
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[*] posted on 13-1-2020 at 09:10 PM


India lays down keel for first dive support vessel

Mrityunjoy Mazumdar, Alameda, California - Jane's Navy International

12 January 2020

An Indian shipyard has laid down the first of two dive support vessels (DSVs) on order for the Indian Navy.

Keel for the vessel was laid down on 28 December 2019 at Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL). First steel for the vessel was cut in May 2019.

The DSV is part of an INR20.19 billion (USD282 million) contract signed between the government and HSL in September 2018. Delivery of the first hull is scheduled for 2021, while the second is due in 2022.

The ships are intended for diving and salvage operations and also providing support to submarines given their ability to deploy deep search and rescue vehicles (DSRVs).

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[*] posted on 13-1-2020 at 09:14 PM


13 January 2020 News

LCA naval version lands on-board Vikramaditya aircraft carrier

The naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has completed its maiden arrested landing on the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier.

The development comes after the LCA Navy completed extensive trials on the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF).

Developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the fighter LCA Navy made its maiden flight in April 2012. Two prototypes had been flying as part of the development.

In September last year, the LCA made its first short, arrested landing with arrestor wires on the SBTF in Goa.

LCA Navy has been designed with stronger landing gears to absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off and features a flight control law mode that allows hands-free take-off and reduces the workload of the pilot.

At present, the Indian Navy operates Russian MiG-29K fighters from INS Vikramaditya, which will also fly from the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant once it becomes operational.
Global tenders for 57 carrier-based twin-engine fighter aircraft are currently being evaluated by the navy.

Commodore Jaideep Maolankar carried out the maiden landing, while captain Dahiya served as the Landing Safety Officer (LSO).
Vivek Pandey was the test director on the ship, while Kabadwal and Ankur Jain monitored the aircraft through telemetry from SBTF.

With the completion of this landing, the niche technologies specific to deck based fighter operations have been proven. This will now pave the way to develop and manufacture the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter for the Indian Navy.

The fighter is expected to fly from the aircraft carriers by 2026.
DRDO, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Indian Navy, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA) teams are involved in the project.
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[*] posted on 15-1-2020 at 01:28 PM


India’s LCA makes arrested landing, as twin-engined fighter planned

15 January 2020

The Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Light Combat Aircraft technology demonstrator has successfully performed an arrested landing on board the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, followed by a maiden ski jump take-off.

The fighter is undergoing additional carrier trials, following which it will return to the Shore Base Test Facility (SBTF) at Goa. The flight represented a historic moment for Indian aviation, being the first time a locally-produced jet has arrested aboard a carrier.


Source: Indian Navy
India makes aviation history with the first


Flight trials from the SBTF Ski-Jump started in December 2014. The first arrested recovery took place nearly five years later in September 2019.

Both LCA Navy Mk1 prototypes are performing the role of technology demonstrators, undertaking carrier suitability trials and demonstrations. This will help with developmental flight testing, validation of important concepts, and facilitate pilot training for carrier operations with indigenously-developed aircraft.

The long delays associated with the LCA Navy programme have resulted in the Navy electing to proceed with an ambitious all new twin-engine carrier-borne based fighter, as against the earlier proposed LCA Navy MkII.

New Delhi has ambitious targets for the twin-engined type with a first flight planned for 2026. Past experience with indigenous aircraft development, however, suggests this schedule could slip.

In addition, there is a separate requirement for 57 twin-engined naval fighters that has received interest from foreign aircraft such as the Boeing F/A-18 E/F and Dassault Rafale.


Source: Indian Navy
The two single-engined LCA Navy prototypes will not be developed as a fighter. New Delhi has opted to develop an indigenous carrier-borne fighter with two engines.


The LCA Navy programme commenced in 2003.

The first prototype NP1 took to the air in April 2012, while NP2 made its maiden flight in February 2015.

The twin-seat NP1 and single-seat NP2 are based on the air force LCA ‘Tejas’ MkI.


Source: Indian Navy
The LCA Navy takes off from the ski-ramp of the INS Vikramaditya.


As of 27 December, 2019, LCA prototypes and developmental test aircraft had amassed 4639 developmental flights, but the two Navy prototypes, NP1 and NP2, had completed only 120 and 89 flights respectively.

The Russian-built INS Vikramaditya and India’s 2nd aircraft carrier INS Vikrant (under construction in India) are both configured for short take-off but assisted recovery (STOBAR) operations and use a ski-jump to launch aircraft.
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[*] posted on 22-1-2020 at 09:05 PM


Indian Navy to purchase six Ka-31 helicopters instead of ten

Posted On Wednesday, 22 January 2020 10:59

According to the Indian newspaper The Economic Times, the Indian Navy will purchase only six additional Ka-31 radar patrol helicopters in Russia, instead of ten previously planned. This is due to insufficient financing of the Indian fleet, which in 2020 was allocated only 41259 crore rupees ($ 5.815 billion) from the budget, instead of the required Navy 64307 crore rupees ($ 7.654 billion). However, the purchase of a batch of Ka-31 remains one of the priorities of the Indian Navy.


Russian Navy Kamov Ka-31 (Picture source: Dmitriy Pichugin)

The Kamov Ka-31 (NATO reporting name 'Helix') is a military helicopter developed for the Soviet Navy and currently in service in Russia, China and India in the naval airborne early warning and control role.

These helicopters are critical for the Indian Navy as they will help in increasing the radar coverage and will act as an extra set of eyes. The radars onboard the ships have a limited ‘horizon’, which are not able to track low-flying targets, in particular, anti-ship missiles. In 1999, the Indian Navy had ordered the Ka-31 AEW helicopters and they were deployed onboard the INS Viraat aircraft carrier and other ships.

Due to insufficient funding, the Indian Navy in 2020 also decided to reduce the number of prospective minesweepers planned to order from 12 to eight units (construction is supposed to be carried out under a foreign license for Goa Shipyard Limited, the cost of 12 ships was previously estimated at 32 thousand crore rupees - 4.5 billion dollars), as well as once again postponing its long-suffering program for the acquisition of four universal landing ships (the cost is estimated at 20 thousand crore rupees - 2.82 billion dollars). The number of additional Boeing P-8I Neptune base patrol planes planned for purchase in the United States will be reduced from ten (21 thousand crore rupees - $ 2.96 billion) to six.
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 06:41 PM


P75I Race to Build Six New Conventional Submarines: Adani Group Out, MDL and L&T in the Hunt (excerpt)

(Source: Financial Express; published January 21, 2020)

By Huma Siddiqui

NEW DELHI --- The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh rejected the joint bid by Adani Group & Hindustan Shipyard Limited on technical grounds for the $6.3 Billion Project 75(I) programme to build 6 new diesel-electric submarines.

This means that Mumbai based Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL) and Larsen & Turbo (L&T) have been approved as the Indian Strategic Partners (SP) and will now compete to be chosen for constructing six submarines in India.

Whichever company finally wins will select one of five foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM): French Naval Group (Scorpene); Russian Rubin Design Bureau (Amur 1650); German Thyssenkrupp (Type 214); Spanish Navantia (S80) and South Korea’s DSME. Both Swedish Saab Kockums A26 and Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Soryu-class had dropped out from the OEM race earlier in the competition.

State-owned MDL already has an active production line and has so far delivered the first two of six Scorpene-class submarines to the Indian Navy. These submarines are being constructed in venture with the French Naval Group.

On the rejection of Adani Group, which had sought to be considered as an SP in a tie-up with HSL, informed sources said “During the DAC meeting on Tuesday, defence minister Rajnath Singh took a principled stand that the SP Model will be followed strictly and no exceptions will be made for anyone.”

“The competition between MDL and L&T is expected to be interesting. Mumbai based MDL is already working on the `Scorpene’ class submarines with the Naval Group.”

The down selected SP along with OEMs have to set up dedicated manufacturing lines for these submarines in the country and help in making India the global hub for submarine design and production.

As reported earlier, Russia has offered state-of-the-art “Lada” class diesel-electric submarine which is the export modification of Amur-1650 and will have the capability to be loaded with BrahMos Missile.

Also, in the submarines to be built under the P75 (I) programme there is a provision for the air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology, being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Presently the Indian Navy is operating two different types of submarines — Russian Kilo-class and German Type 209 conventional submarines. And one `Scorpene’ class submarine is the new one inducted in the Indian Navy. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Financial Express website.

https://www.financialexpress.com/defence/p75i-race-to-build-...

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Defence Acquisition Council, Chaired by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, Approves Several Procurement Proposals to Boost ‘Make in India’

(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued Jan 21, 2020)

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, in its first meeting of 2020 and after the constitution of Chief of the Defence Staff, met today to consider a number of new and ongoing proposals for procuring critically needed platforms and equipment for the Armed Forces.

To promote indigenisation, the DAC accorded approval for procurement of equipment worth over Rs 5,100 crore from indigenous sources. These include sophisticated Electronic Warfare Systems for the Army designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured locally by the Indian industry.

These systems will be used in deserts and plains and will provide comprehensive Electronic Support and Counter Measure capabilities to the field formations in both communication and other aspects of Electronic Warfare.

The DAC also approved prototype testing of trawl assemblies designed by DRDO for T-72 and T-90 tanks providing an important indigenous de-mining capability to the Army.

In another significant step, the DAC approved shortlisting of Indian Strategic Partners (SP) and the potential Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that would collaborate with SPs to construct six conventional submarines in India.

This programme is being progressed under the 'Strategic Partnership Model', promulgated in 2017 to give a major boost to 'Make in India' in Defence Sector. The Strategic partner is expected to play a transformational role in building an eco-system in the country, comprising development entities, specialised vendors and suppliers; especially those from the MSME sector.

SP Model also aims at promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment, in addition to establishing an industrial and R&D eco-system capable of meeting the future requirements of the Armed Forces besides giving boost to exports.

The DAC also accorded approval for inclusion of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) in Defence Procurement Procedure. This would provide avenues in capital procurement for the Armed Forces to startups and innovators working for iDEX and provide huge fillip to their budding efforts.

Today's decisions are also in keeping with the mandate given to the CDS and the newly-constituted Department of Military Affairs to promote use of indigenous hardware by the Services.

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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 07:20 PM


India makes initial bid selections for $7 billion submarine project

By: Vivek Raghuvanshi   17 hours ago


The Scorpene submarine Kalvari is escorted by tugboats on Oct. 29, 2015. The sub was built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, which is also vying to build six diesel-electric subs under India's P75I project. (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — India on Tuesday announced the selection of domestic and foreign defense companies for the construction of six diesel-electric submarines with air-independent propulsion technology as part of an effort worth more than $7 billion.

The submarines will be manufactured in India under the Navy’s P75I program and guided by the Ministry of Defence’s Strategic Partnership model, which aims to build indigenous capabilities, a senior ministry official told Defense News.

Two domestic shipyards companies — state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited and private sector firm Larsen & Toubro — were shortlisted to collaborate with five overseas original equipment manufacturers — Rubin Design Bureau of Russia, Naval Group of France, Navantia of Spain, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany, and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of South Korea.

“The defence acquisition council approved the shortlisting of Indian strategic partners and potential original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who would collaborate to construct six conventional submarines in India,” the MoD said in a statement.
An expression of interest was issued in June 2019 to four domestic companies: Mazagon; Larsen & Toubro; Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited; and a consortium of Hindustan Shipyard Limited and Adani Defence.

An internal MoD committee rejected the Hindustan-Adani Defence bid because it did not meet eligibility requirements, and the ministry noted that Reliance Naval and Engineering did not meet financial requirements.

A separate, restricted expression of interest was issued in July 2019 to the five foreign OEMs as well as Saab of Sweden. Saab chose not to participate in the program, citing lack of clarity.

For the P75I program, the Rubin Design Bureau is offering the Amur 1650 submarine; France is offering the Scorpene 2000; Navantia has offered the S-80-class sub; TKMS offered its HDW class 214; and Daewoo is offering its KSS-III.

The MoD official said submissions were accepted in September and selection done early this month.

A senior Indian Navy official said the OEMs must provide full technology transfer of critical systems of the submarines such as air-independent propulsion technology, sensors, and communication and electronic warfare suites. They must also help establish a domestic supply chain for spare parts and material as well as assist in training the local labor force, the official added.

The OEMs are free to set up joint ventures or equity partnerships, or make royalty arrangements with Indian prime partners and other domestic suppliers.

Another MoD official said a request for proposals will be issued to two shortlisted Indian companies who will set up a technical partnership with one of the five shortlisted OEMs and submit both financial and technical bids by the end of 2020. Thereafter, the technical and financial bids will be evaluated, with final selection expected in mid-2022. The selection will be made based on the lowest price offered, he added.

Under the P75I program, the submarines must be made up of 65 percent indigenous material.

The MoD said any contract between an Indian strategic partner and a foreign OEM must include provisions for the protection of classified information. In addition, the shortlisted OEMs must confirm their willingness to cooperate with the selected Indian company, including life-cycle support and transfer of technology.
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[*] posted on 25-1-2020 at 02:24 PM


Budgetary Pressures Induce Indian Navy Rethink

(Source: Forecast International; issued Jan 23, 2020)

Confronting an unfavorable fiscal picture unlikely to change in the short term, the Indian Navy is shrinking its procurement ambitions as it re-scopes future force goals.

According to senior officials the Navy’s plan to have 200 warships in service by 2027 is no longer tenable in light of its shrinking portion of the overall defense budget.

Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh recently stated that the share of the defense budget allocated to the Navy has steadily declined from 18 percent in 2012 to the current level of 13 percent. This in turn has had a knock-on effect for naval capitalization.

The Navy’s longstanding fleet goal of 200 warships is now being pruned to 175 in an effort to optimize available resources. The current inventory amounts to 130 ships with 50 more in various stages of planning and production.

Whether funding pressures ultimately have a downstream effect on the Navy’s requirement for three Carrier Battle Groups remains to be seen, but if its goal of fielding three aircraft carriers with two of indigenous build is met there is a strong chance the timeline for doing so will have to be extended.

The Navy currently has one operational aircraft carrier, a 40,000-ton refurbished Soviet-legacy missile cruiser christened INS Vrkramaditya, with another indigenous carrier, IAC-1 (INS Vikrant), already built and being readied for basin trials. The 40,000-ton indigenous carrier is expected to become fully operational by 2022.

But India’s aim is for three carriers, thus ensuring two are operationally available at all times. This would allow the service to position a carrier off both the eastern and western seaboard of the country while the third is in refit and maintenance.

The Navy is in the midst of finalizing its requirements for IAC-2 with specifications to include a 65,000-ton carrier featuring Catapult Assisted Takeoff but Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) capability and full electric propulsion. Once its case is put together the Navy must receive financial clearance from the Defense Ministry and be granted “Acceptance of Necessity” from the government in order to issue a formal tender.

But progress is slow.

Since 2017 the Ministry of Defense has declined granting financial clearance for the project due to the cost burdens it would impose on future budgets.

Thus the Navy’s goal of bringing IAC-2 into service by 2030-2032 appears elusive. If the project is ultimately given the go-ahead the operational entry date is likely to be pushed further out.

Elsewhere, the Navy’s modernization ambitions have butted up against fiscal reality.

With requests for additional funding of up to INR200 billion ($2.82 billion) for underwriting new acquisitions spurned by the MoD last year the Navy now is left looking to shrink the scope of its ongoing procurements. Its capital budget earmark for the current fiscal year (2019-2020) involving new projects amounted to INR231.56 billion, or $3.25 billion. While a significant figure, the Navy’s fiscal year obligations on equipment delivered and services already rendered came to INR254.61 billion ($3.58 billion), necessitating deferred payment arrangements.

In short, the Navy is left using today’s budget for yesterday’s purchases – and still unable to pay its bills.

With key projects including the aforementioned IAC-1 INS Vikrant carrier, Project 15B destroyers, Project 17A frigates, offshore patrol vessels and Project 75 Kalvari-class submarines (of French Scorpene design) currently underway, and others – including 41 ships and 24 multi-mission MH-60R Romeo Seahawk naval helicopters – granted Acceptance of Necessity status, the looming financial crunch is very real.

The funding pressures mean the Navy has to trim its procurement ambitions whether they be capital ships or force multipliers.

Forthcoming projects involving Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs) will be reduced from 12 vessels to eight, while already the Navy has been forced to cut its batch order for additional P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) from ten to six units. An acquisition of Kamov Ka-31 airborne early warning (AEW) mission helicopters is also shrinking from an original goal of ten units to six.

Fleet support ships and amphibious capabilities such as landing platform docks (LPDs) are also areas where the Navy is feeling a capacity and capability pinch.

All this is playing out against a backdrop of Chinese inroads into the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the strategic neighborhood the Indian Navy is aiming to project power throughout with the aid of its blue-water naval buildup. With China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) reach growing in the IOR and its shipbuilding and naval modernization efforts continuing at rapid pace the Indian Navy confronts the prospect of a highly-capable peer competitor at its doorstep.

The PLAN currently has some 400 naval ships – more than 330 surface vessels and 66 submarines – at its disposal, with some future forecasts estimating a fleet of over 550 naval ships (including 99 submarines) by 2030. Along with its growing ship capacity and strengthening blue water capabilities is an increasingly sustainable operational reach thanks to a growing web of naval logistics bases cropping up under cover of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) linking mainland China to Europe.

China’s relationship with India’s strategic rival Pakistan also comes into play. As the two countries have grown closer so too have their navies with the PLAN and Pakistan Navy forging closer ties and raising the threat of a dual China-Pakistan axis in the IOR.

While the Indian Navy has its own significant strategic advantages over its Chinese counterpart in the IOR due to geography, it also confronts multiple tasks that strain its capacity. These include protecting the country’s vast 7,500-kilometer coastline, ensuring open sea lines of communication (SLOC) for a nation which receives over 90 percent of its foreign trade volume by sea, and projecting power and conducting naval diplomacy across the eastern and western rims of the Indian Ocean.

With a foreign policy approach predicated on non-alignment the prospect of seeking support from other nations, whether by bolstering forums such as “The Quad” (consisting of India, Australia, Japan and the United States) or cementing bilateral security pacts, appears a non-starter. Which means the Indian Navy will have to carry the brunt of maritime security on its own – and with fewer resources at its disposal than hoped.

Expect optimization of assets to be its mantra in the near-term as financial pressures force a rethink among naval planners.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 7-2-2020 at 10:28 PM


Boeing to conduct ski-jump trials for Super Hornet

By George Allison - February 7, 20200



A senior Boeing executive has revealed that the company is planning ski-jump testing for its F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Boeing’s Vice President Thom Breckenridge was speaking to reporters at DefExpo 2020 where he revealed that discussions are underway with the Indian Navy regarding the trials.

“Testing plans are underway. We will rigorously check our aircraft on ski jump,” said Thom Breckenridge, Vice-President, International Sales at Boeing Defence, Space and Security, at the DefExpo 2020, which is being held in Lucknow.

Confirmation that the Super Hornet could operate with a relevant weapons loads from short-takeoff but arrested recovery carriers came following a meeting in New Delhi put on by Boeing in 2017, after which Indian defence page Livefist interviewed Dan Gillian, VP of the Super Hornet programme.

Short take-off but arrested recovery (used by India in this case) is a system used for the launch and recovery of aircraft from the deck of an aircraft carrier, combining short take-off without catapults and arrested recovery using cables on deck for the aircraft to catch.


The Indian carrier Vikramaditya. Photo Credit: Anuj.direct [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

During the interview, Gillian stated:

“We’ve done a lot of simulation work with the Indian Navy to better understand their requirements and we fill comfortable that the Super Hornet can operate from all their carriers, both the ones fielded today and the ones in the future… We think we can move around the deck, be very mission capable with a relevant weapons load-out and fuel load-out to give the Navy what they need. The Super Hornet as built today can operate from Indian carriers.”

You can read more from Tyler Rogoway on that here.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/13883/boeing-says-supe...
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[*] posted on 10-2-2020 at 04:52 PM


Russia to deliver two Project 11356 frigates to India in first half of 2024

Posted On Sunday, 09 February 2020 17:20

India will receive two Talwar-class Project 11356 frigates currently under construction at the Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad in west Russia by the end of the first half of 2024, according to the press office of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation. The Indian Navy currently has six of these ships.


Indian Navy frigate INS Trikand (F51) of the Talwar class (modified Russian Krivak II class). (Picture source Wikimedia)

“In accordance with the existing work schedule agreed by the sides, the Project 11356 frigates currently under construction at the Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad will be handed over to the Indian Navy by the end of the first half of 2024,” the service said. Under the program, another two frigates will be built by an Indian shipyard.

According to the press office, the sides have already started to prepare India’s Goa Shipyard Limited for the construction of the ships.

“In order to build the ships, it is necessary to upgrade the Indian shipyard, work out and deliver the required documentation and train Indian specialists, including in the course of the construction of the ships at the Russian shipyard,” the service said.

In November 2018, Russia and India signed contracts for the delivery of four Project 11356 frigates. Under the contract, two frigates will be built in Russia and the other two by the Indian shipyard.

The Project 11356 frigate is designed to attack the enemy’s surface combatants and submarines at short and long ranges and fight aerial threats both independently and within a formation. The frigate is armed with the A-190 100mm gun, air defense missile systems, including the Kalibr-NK (NATO reporting name: SS-N-27 Sizzler) and the Shtil (SA-N-12 Grizzly) complexes, and torpedo tubes. The ship can carry a Kamov Ka-27 (Helix-A) helicopter or its versions.
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[*] posted on 13-2-2020 at 12:25 PM


Singapore air show 2020

Airbus Helicopters still chasing trio of Indian contracts

By Dominic Perry, Singapore12 February 2020

Airbus Helicopters is still hunting for orders from the Indian military which, if successful, could see multiple new production lines established in the country.

At present, New Delhi is running three separate procurement contests for a combined total of almost 250 rotorcraft.

The smallest of these is a 14-unit requirement from the Indian coastguard for search and rescue helicopters for which the airframer is offering the H225M, against likely competition from Sikorsky’s S-92.

If Airbus Helicopters wins, the Super Pumas would be built at its Marignane site in the south of France, said Fabrice Cagnat, vice-president of strategy and marketing Asia-Pacific, at a Singapore air show briefing.

However, victory in two other Indian contests – the Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) and Naval Multi-Role Helicopter (NMRH) programmes, for 111 and 123 aircraft, respectively – would require significant levels of local assembly.

The more valuable contest is for the NMRH, which Airbus Helicopters is addressing with the H225M.

Production would be established in India, with Adani Defence, Bharat Forge, Mahindra Aerospace, and Tata Group likely to be pre-selected by New Delhi as possible local partners.

Should H225Ms be built in India, it would be the third final assembly line for the type after existing plants in Marignane and Brazil.

For the NUH effort, Airbus Helicopters is offering a choice of the H145M light-twin or the older medium-class AS565 MBe Panther. Should the Panther come out on top, it would mark a second success – and production line – in the region for a Dauphin derivative, with Korea Aerospace Industries already developing its H155-based LUH and LCH models.

While Airbus Helicopters continues to market the civil LUH on behalf of KAI, the LCH military variant could conceivably be pitched against the Panther for some contests, admits Cagnat.

But as he notes “we are collaborating with Leonardo on the NH90 [but] that does not mean we are always with Leonardo”.

Cagnat points out that in the event of a NUH contract win, Panther production would relocate entirely to India, but the rotorcraft would remain an Airbus Helicopters product.
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[*] posted on 19-2-2020 at 10:18 PM


GRSE delivers India’s fourth Kamorta-class ASW corvette

Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore - Jane's Navy International

19 February 2020



Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has delivered the Indian Navy's fourth Kamorta (Project 28)-class anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette.

The vessel, which will be in service as INS Kavaratti (P 31) once it is commissioned, was handed over on 18 February. It was launched in May 2015.

Kavaratti has an overall length of 109.2 m and displaces 3,150 tonnes at full load. Its weapon systems include an Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid Main Gun, improved versions of the Russian RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers, and DTA-53 533 mm twin torpedo tubes.

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[*] posted on 20-2-2020 at 02:22 PM


Indian Navy Reviews Refit of Ships and Submarines and Infrastructure Buildup

(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued Feb 19, 2020)

Indian Navy’s Annual Refit Conference (ARC) and Annual Infrastructure Conference (AIC) commenced at Headquarters Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam on 18 Feb 20.

The two-day conference chaired by Vice Admiral GS Pabby PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Materiel (COM), Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence(Navy) is being attended by all the stakeholders representing the Naval Headquarters, three Naval Commands, the Tri-Services Andaman & Nicobar Command at Port Blair, Dockyards, Repair Yards and Material Organisations of the Navy.

The delegates will deliberate upon refit plans for all ships and submarines of the Indian Navy and formulate plans for infrastructure augmentation to meet the growing requirements of the Indian Navy.

Delivering the inaugural address, Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, ENC welcomed the delegates and appreciated the dedicated efforts being put in by one and all in ensuring combat availability of Naval platforms. Role of the Naval Repair Yards towards the sustained operation of platforms at sea was lauded.

The Chief of Materiel (COM), during his address, complimented the forum for ensuring quality refits of ships and submarines, with a focus on the safety of personnel and material. During the course of the conference, technical and logistics aspects concerning refits were deliberated at length with a special emphasis on enhanced efficiency/ capability of sea-going units. He also urged all concerned to focus on greater indigenisation in keeping with the spirit of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The Annual Infrastructure Conference will be held on 19 Feb 20 to review progress towards modernisation and augmentation of repair and refitting infrastructure in order to maintain the lethal edge of combat assets of the Indian Navy.

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[*] posted on 21-2-2020 at 02:12 PM


New Delhi committee signs off on 24 MH-60Rs as Trump visit approaches

By Mike Rajkumar21 February 2020

India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved the purchase of 24 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters for the Navy at an estimated cost of US$2.6 Billion.

CCS approval is the final step before the inking of a formal contract, as per India’s procurement process.


Source: US Navy
A US Navy MH-60R conducts a shipboard landing.


Deliveries are expected within five years of contract signature. Media reports suggest the deal could be consummated during a visit to India by US president Donald Trump from 24 to 25 February.

The MH-60R will be acquired via the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) route and provide anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities, which has also contracted for weapons such as AGM-114 Hellfire, Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS), Mk54 torpedoes, and two-types of crew served guns.

Also likely to be acquired under a separate contract with Kongsberg will be the Naval Strike Missile (NSM).

An additional MH-60B/R Excess Defense Article (EDA) is also being acquired for training purposes.

The procurement process for a modern ASW helicopter has been underway since 2005, with Sikorsky’s S-70B Seahawk emerging as the winner in 2014 before negotiations floundered over cost.

Also being pursued is a requirement for 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) and 123 Naval Multi Role Helicopters (NMRH).

The Indian Navy suffers a debilitating shortage of modern helicopters across all types, with a stated shortfall of 61 integral shipborne helicopters for its warships.

The Navy’s Westland Sea King Mk-42B/C and Ka-28 helicopters provide surveillance and stand-off targeting capability against enemy ships and submarines. Inducted between 1986-89, orders were placed for 20 Sea King Mk-42Bs and 10 Sea King Mk-42Cs. Only a handful are now thought to be operational.

The Kamov Ka-28 fleet is being upgraded under a $294 million contract signed in July 2016 and slated for completion by July 2021. Also to be procured are 10 more Ka-31 airborne early warning (AEW) helicopters, adding to the existing fleet of 14.

The backbone of Naval aviation remains the obsolete Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Chetak (license built Alouette III). There are 51 in service and eight new build helicopters were ordered in August 2017. The first helicopter from this order was delivered in July 2019 and deliveries conclude this year.

The first Chetak helicopter was delivered to the Navy in February 1966.

In addition,16 Dhruv helicopters on order from HAL are also slated for delivery between March 2020 to September 2021.
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[*] posted on 22-2-2020 at 01:35 PM


India receives offer for SMX 3.0 VLS-equipped attack submarine from France


A CGI of the Naval Group's SMX 3.0 submarine concept. Photo c/o The Defenstar.

French shipbuilder Naval Group (NG) confirmed that they have offered their new SMX 3.0 next generation diesel-electric attack submarine to the Indian Navy (IN) to meet requirements under its P-75I submarine project.

This offer was made to replace an earlier offer by NG based on an enlarged Scorpene-class design.

The new SMX 3.0 is a 3,000-ton diesel-electric submarine design that slots in between NG’s other submarine offerings, including the 4,000-ton Shortfin Barracuda, known as the Attack-class with the Royal Australian Navy, and the 1,800-ton Scorpene which is already in service with the IN as the Kalvari-class.

The SMX 3.0 incorporates the latest digital technologies for improved responsiveness and functionality resulting to operational efficiency and versatility. It has better power management with the use of the Air Independent Propulsion Fuel Cell Second Generation (AIP FC2G) anaerobic propulsion system.

The submarine will also be equipped with a vertical launch system (VLS) allowing the launching of both drones and missiles, extending its scope of warfare capabilities. The IN is considering arming its future submarines with the submarine-launched BrahMos NG supersonic and Nirbhay subsonic anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles., as well as French missiles including the submarine-launched Exocet SM39 anti-ship and SCALP land attack cruise missiles.

It also has improved capabilities to counter cyber-threats, and improved acoustic discretion due to its hydrodynamic shape and masking coating.

Under the IN’s P-75I project, six (6) next generation submarines are to be procured by the IN, and will be constructed locally by state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and privately-owned Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
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[*] posted on 28-2-2020 at 12:06 PM


Reliance points to possible termination of OPV project

Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - Jane's Defence Weekly

27 February 2020

Indian naval shipbuilder Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited (RNEL) has confirmed that it has received notification from the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to terminate its construction of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Indian Navy (IN).

The company said in a recent stock exchange filing that the MoD's "show cause notice" outlined a requirement to "terminate the contract related to five Naval OPVs". RNEL said it will take "all the necessary steps and actions to protect its rights including arbitrary invocation of bank guarantees".

RNEL also confirmed that the company is currently undergoing a "corporate insolvency resolution process" under an order in January passed by India's National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

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[*] posted on 20-3-2020 at 10:55 PM


India fast-tracking purchase of 10 additional Ka-31 AEW&C helicopters

Rahul Bedi, New Delhi - Jane's Defence Weekly

20 March 2020

India is fast-tracking negotiations to acquire 10 Russian-made Kamov Ka-31 ‘Helix’ airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) helicopters in time for the expected commissioning in 2021 of Vikrant , the Indian Navy’s (IN’s) indigenously designed aircraft carrier.

Official sources told Jane’s on 20 March that the IN wants to “imminently” finalise the Ka-31 import, which was approved by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in May 2019 for an estimated INR36 billion (USD478.8 million), given that up to four of the AEW&C platforms are expected to be embarked on the 37,750-tonne carrier.

IN officers said Vikrant aims to field its full air complement of Russian-made MiG-29K/KUB ‘Fulcrum’ fighters and rotary-wing platforms by 2022.

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[*] posted on 21-3-2020 at 01:07 PM


Indian Navy outlines plans to berth new aircraft carrier at private shipyard

Rahul Bedi, New Delhi - Jane's Navy International

20 March 2020

Faced with ongoing budget shortfalls that have delayed the completion of one of its major bases, the Indian Navy (IN) is now seeking to lease a private shipyard to berth its indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant after its commissioning in 2021.

The navy has approached the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to lease the 260 m long berth at the Larsen & Toubro (L&T) shipyard in Kattupalli, on India's southeast coast, to dock Vikrant for eight years, from 2022 onwards, the IN's vice chief of staff, Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, told a parliamentary standing committee on defence.

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