The INS Vishal – New indigenous Indian Navy carrier
INS Vishal designs currently under construction (2012). The INS Vishal is following the INS Vikrant into service to which the latter is expected to be commissioned sometime after 2017 due to ongoing project delays.
Prior to these two endeavors, the Indian Navy relied largely on existing foreign types of British or Soviet/Russian origin refitted for Indian Navy use and, as such, these new carrier developments will stand as a huge symbol of national pride.
For years. the Indian Navy made use of two ex-British Royal Navy carriers under the local names of INS Vikrant (R11) and INS Viraat (R22) though these aging systems eventually passed their prime by the end of the 1980s and thought was given towards their formal retirement.
Highlights of INS Vishal
The country’s biggest aircraft carrier equipped with Indian-made aircraft and drones.
The vessel, not officially christened yet, is one of the most ambitious project in the country’s defence sector – on a scale India never handled before.
At an estimated $5 billion, the fully equipped INS Vishal may be most expensive piece of machinery in the arsenal of India, which wants to match the pace at which China is developing its aircraft carriers.
An aircraft carrier, complete with fighter squadrons called Carrier Battle Groups (CBG), gives a navy strategic depth in the oceans.
A CBG can control around 200,000 square nautical miles and can moving more than 600 nautical miles a day. The distance between Chennai and Colombo by the sea is 401 nautical miles.
- Expected displacement: 65,000 tonne
- Fuel: expected to be nuclear – that’s what the Navy has requested
- Expected length: 300 metres
- Expected width: 60-70 metres
- Capacity: About 50 aircraft: 30-35 fixed-wing combat aircraft, 20 rotary wing aircraft
The INS Vishal project is headed by the Naval Design Bureau
The arrival of the INS Vishal is still some time away as the Indian Navy commits to other higher profile requirements.
The launch date for the vessel is tentatively scheduled for sometime in 2017 with sea trials to be undertaken in 2020 and formal commissioning in 2022.
Sources indicate that the commissioning year is closer to 2025 due to the ambitious nature of the program and much thought given to finding local solutions without foreign assistance. This will push existing carriers such as the INS Viraat into service beyond 2014.