INS Vikrant is India’s 2nd aircraft carrier and first indigenous aircraft carrier. Now India has 2 aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant. Aircraft carriers are very crucial for big navy and country that wants to ensure their security, maintain their dominance, or want to carry out any operations far from their land. After getting this 2nd aircraft carrier India is now the 5th nation that has 2 aircraft carriers in the world and has entered the elite club of countries that has more than 1 aircraft carrier.
INS Vikrant is 1st Made in India aircraft carrier. INS Vikrant was commissioned on 2nd September 2022. It cost India a total of 20,000 core rupees (which is around 2.7 billion dollars according to the September 2022 exchange rate). Around 76% of the part were made in India and built by the Indian firm Cochin Shipyard aircraft carrier and 500 other Indian firms were also engaged in the INS Vikrant building project.
The Naval Design Bureau of the Navy made the design of INS Vikrant. It took 13 Years and the hard work of 1700 people to make INS Vikrant. And 23000 quintals of steel used in INS Vikrant, steel that is used in making INS Vikrant is also provided by the Indian Public Sector Company Steel Authority of India. INS Vikrant’s length exceeds 2 football field grounds combined It has a length of 262 meters, a width of 62 meters, and a Height of 59 meters, and the flight deck is 12,500 square meters. It has the highest designed speed of 28 Knots with 7500 Nautical Miles. INS Vikrant’s displacement weight is 45 tons. INS Vikrant has around 18 floors, 14 decks, 2,300 compartments, 16 hospital beds, 2 operating theaters, a CT Machine, and 250 tankers of fuel, INS Vikrant can serve up to 1700 crew members.
INS Vikrant can hold 30 fighter jets and helicopters. For now, mostly MiG-29K fighter jets, Tejas Naval variant, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, Advanced Light Helicopters, and Light combat aircraft are going to be deployed on INS Vikrant. MK54 torpedoes and Precise Kill Rockets are also on INS Vikrant.
INS Vikrant is fully equipped with deadly and nuclear-capable missiles like BrahMos, Barak 8 Missiles, Otobreda cannon, and AK 630 CIWS. INS Vikrant can carry fighter aircraft that can carry Nuclear weapons which makes it extremely lethal. The Indian government is in discussion with US and France for buying more advanced fighter aircraft like F-18 Hornet, and Rafale M for INS Vikrant.
Why Indian Navy Needs a 2nd Aircraft Carrier?
India has a total of more than 7000 kilometers of the maritime border. India also has a prime location in the Indo-Pacific region. The Indian navy has access to both the ocean Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. After the Chinese aggression and clashes at LAC (Line of Actual Control), China has also started increasing its military presence in the Indo-Pacific region and the Chinese navy today is also one of the biggest navies in the world.
China is increasing its presence in the Indo-Pacific region to send warnings to India. The best recent example is the Chinese shy ship Yuan Wang 5 docked at Sri Lankan Hambantota port, a major security threat for India. Not only China but also Pakistan Navy is a threat to India. Although Pakistan’s navy is not very strong and has almost nothing in front of the Indian navy. But we also can not underestimate the security threat from Pakistan’s side in the Arabian Sea. To counter both China and Pakistan in both big seas the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bangle India need at least 2 aircraft carriers at one time.
INS Vikrant is extremely important in this case it provides India an edge here. It can defend India if India’s one aircraft carrier is busy in any operation then INS Vikrant can easily handle Pakistan’s Navy too as. It has many aircraft that Pakistan Navy doesn’t as the Pakistani Navy doesn’t have any aircraft carriers. INS Vikrant can also defend the Bay of Bengal or can choke the Malacca strait if needed and challenge the Chinese Navy. INS Vikrant was in desperate need of the Indian Navy to maintain its influence and contain Pakistan and China to safeguard India and the Indian Ocean.
Also Read, Indian Navy & Need For Aircraft Carrier
Is INS Vikrant Truly Made in India?
YES, India can proudly say that it is truly Made in India aircraft carrier. 76% parts of INS Vikrant are made in India there is no doubt about it.
Yes, India has used some foreign parts and help from foreign countries in INS Vikrant but it is not only India but around the world, like Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division in collaboration with MARS, Russia in developing the ship’s combat management system (CMS). As we live in a globalized world, other nations also do that.
Achieving a 76% mark is truly remarkable for the Make in India defence manufacturing. On the day of INS Vikrant’s commission on record, our PM Modi said that INS Vikrant is not just a warship but it is strong evidence, sign, and result of 21st century India’s Hard Work, Talent, and Influence. Made in India INS Vikrant is also a sign of the tremendous success of the Make in India defence.
When India launched its indigenous manufacturing plan for defence equipment and banned imports of many defence items many foreign companies mocked India’s defence technology and manufacturing because they were losing billions of dollars in business with Indian companies. But our government trusted Indian companies and gave them billions of dollars in projects which generated lakhs of jobs in India and those billions of dollars were directly invested in the Indian economy. INS Vikrant is a big boost for Indian defense manufacturing and also a big blow to all foreign defense manufacturing companies. Vikrant means courage in Sanskrit and India has demonstrated her courage by developing INS Vikrant indigenously.
Also Read, How Does An Aircraft Carrier Operate?
How India Is On a Way To Becoming a Truly Global Navy Power?
As said earlier, India is in the elite club of the nation that has 2 or more aircraft carriers. Only 5 nation today has commissioned 2 or more aircraft carriers China, the US, the UK, Italy, and India. Because of INS Vikrant now India is slowly becoming a true Blue-water Navy. There are Navies we call non-blue water Navy, which is limited near its exclusive economic zone (EEZ)). And Blue water Navy, can easily go beyond their water and attack their enemies or can participate in global events.
There are 4 types of Blue-water Navies in the world.
|The United States of|
|At least one major|
|Power projection to|
regions adjacent to
|India, Russia, Italy,|
|Limited range power|
economic zone (EEZ)
|Spain, Brazil, Japan,|
Here we can see that the US is the rank 1 blue-water navy they have a presence in every big sea be it near the South China Sea, Indo-Pacific, Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, etc.
Then comes France and the UK which have limited Global-reach they are mainly present in the Indo-Pacific region and European regions like the Bay of Biscay, the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, etc. They don’t have a big presence in the South China Sea, or the Sea of Japan like the US has.
Then comes India, Russia, Italy, and China which are mainly focused on around 2 regions India is focused on the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian sea which are part of the Indo-Pacific region, and China is focused on the Indo-Pacific region, and the South-China sea and also near to the sea of Japan.
Then comes countries Spain, Brazil, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and Germany which are fully focused on their region they are regional powers. Like Germany and Spain are more focused on the European region, Japan is focused on the Sea of Japan, Brazil has more presence in the South Atlantic Ocean, South Korea is more focused on its region Yellow and near the east china sea, and Australia is more focused their regional area, Indo-Pacific, coral sea.
It is INS Vikrant because of which India is now claiming to be a big blue-water Navy. INS Vikrant has increased the reach of the Indian Navy, Now Indian Navy can go beyond its waters to safeguard its interests or participate in global world events.
Why Is China Concerned About INS VIKRANT?
China considers India as its biggest rival and obstacle to dominating Asia and the world. Whereas India believes in the peaceful coexistence of both big powers. China wants to dominate the Indo-Pacific region where India is the central and biggest Navy.
But why every big power including china wants to dominate the Indo-Pacific region?
It is because Indo-Pacific is the central point of world trade and economy. The Indo-Pacific region accommodates around 4.3 billion people which is around 65% of the world’s population. Indo-Pacific region countries are almost 63% of the world’s GDP. More than 50% of the world’s maritime trade occurs in the Indo-Pacific region. And this is going to increase more in the future so the importance of the Indo-Pacific region is also going to increase. These are the most important reason why big power wants to control the Indo-Pacific region.
Those who will control the Indo-Pacific region will control the world trade, and economy, and have strategic choking points during crucial times like conflicts or war. As said before India is expanding its navy now India has 2nd aircraft carrier INS Vikrant and now India is thinking of 3rd aircraft carrier INS Vishal which makes China nervous because India can easily dominate the Indo-Pacific region with its allied nations like France and the US.
Most of the trade that china does is also through the Indo-Pacific region so it is a very concerning thing
for china that its rival is getting strong in this region. India could also use Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese aggression on northern Indian borders. As India keeps on expanding India could also come to the South China Sea in the future to threaten china or send a strong message to counter Chinese aggressions.
INS Vikrant is challenging Chinese supremacy in the Indo-Pacific region. INS Vikrant can easily choke the Chinese oil and trade supply through the Malacca strait and even can go to the South China Sea to challenge china there. INS Vikrant is like a moving attack town that holds many superior supersonic missiles too many heavy and nuclear weapon-less aircraft. China still doesn’t have any supersonic nuclear-capable missiles like BrahMos on their aircraft carriers like INS Vikrant has which is one of the major concerning factors for the Chinese Navy. INS Vikrant can take down any big navy battleship and destroy its opponent’s Navy easily.
What If India Has to Face Two-Front Wars In The Indo-Pacific Region?
Yes, this could be a reality as China is increasing its presence in the Indo-Pacific region to counter India in the region they could start a small conflict with India from the Bay of Bengal side and Pakistan can start this from the Arabian seaside. In this case, we have to face aggression from two fronts in the sea.
First, China has to think a lot before doing this because china cannot move its entire navy toward the Indo-Pacific region for India because they also have to maintain its presence near the Sea of Japan, East China Sea, South China Sea, Yellow sea, Taiwan strait, etc. They have to look for these regions because china also has rivals in these regions US military have a heavy presence in these regions and have a permanent military basis too. That is why china could only send some navy ships and submarines, and a maximum of 1 aircraft carrier that India can counter by blocking them through the Malacca strait because India has a permanent military base near the Malacca strait in the Great Nicobar Islands.
Even after all this if china was able to send some warships, submarines, and one aircraft carrier then they have to face the entire Indian navy not a fraction of the Indian navy, which is almost next to impossible for the Chinese. This scenario could play out but the Indian Navy is very much ready for this scenario as India has one unsinkable natural aircraft carrier which is Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Now, today India has 2 aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant. INS Vikrant can hold 30 aircraft which can easily dominate the Pakistani Navy because the Pakistani Navy has 0 aircraft for the Navy as they don’t have any aircraft carriers.
This is where INS Vikrant also gives us an edge over INS Vikramaditya. After INS Vikrant Indian Navy has become superior to before because it increased its reach and dominating power. When it comes to fighting Pakistan in the ocean it is not a big deal for INS Vikrant to handle the Pakistani Navy because the Pakistani Navy is almost non-existence. They have 1970s submarines and now building some more submarines with china but they might not be as strong as India’s new submarines, India also has 2 nuclear submarines but Pakistan has 0, India has 12 destroyers and Pakistan has only 2. That is why handling the Pakistani navy is not a big deal for the Indian navy. INS Vikrant is more than enough to take down the Pakistani Navy in the Indian Ocean.