Indian Navy’s second indigenous aircraft carrier to be conventionally-powered

The Indian Navy has confirmed that its second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-II), INS Vishal will be conventionally-powered vessel, not a nuclear powered one as earlier envisaged, Business Standard reported.

Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Indian Chief of Naval Staff, told a press conference on Friday that the carrier will be a 65,000-tonne, two-deck, CATOBAR (catapult take off but arrested landing), conventionally powered” vessel.

He added that the ship would incorporate the latest “EMALS (electro-magnetic aircraft launch system) and AAG (advanced arrester gear)” developed by US firm General Atomics for launching and recovering aircraft.

INS Vishal (IAC-II) is the follow-on class of aircraft carrier currently in its design phase, which will be built by Cochin Shipyard Limited for the Indian Navy.

It is intended to be 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 INS Vikrant (IAC-I), including an increase in displacement, an EMALS CATOBAR system, and could be used to launch heavier aircraft like larger fighters, AEW (airborne early-warning) aircraft and Mid-Air Refueling Tankers.

The carrier was initially expected to enter service by the 2020s but latest reports suggests that it will enter service only by 2030 due to the technical challenges involved in assimilating and integrating several advanced technologies for the first time in an Indian carrier.

The Indian Navy has reached out to four international defence companies for suggestions with the design of Vishal. The letters of request (LoR) were sent to British firm BAE Systems, French firm DCNS (now Naval Group), American firm Lockheed Martin and Russian firm Rosoboronexport on July 15, 2015, according to a report in Jane’s Navy International. The letter asks the companies to “provide technical and costing proposals” for the IAC-II program.

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