Made in India: the INS Vikrant aircraft carrier is almost ready for service

NEW DELHI, (BM) – India is opening a new page in its military history. For the first time, the country will have an aircraft carrier built in India. The world has long known about the INS Vikrant’s construction, but this week [the first week of December 2020 – ed.] the Indian MoD announced that the aircraft carrier is on the final straight. The Indian Cochin Shipyard Limited [CSL] built it. The pool tests have passed successfully, and at the beginning of 2021, the naval tests will start, has learned, quoting a statement by Indian military experts.

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Pool tests are the first phase of the final stage before launching the aircraft carrier on water. They aim to test the characteristics of the central drive unit. In this case, the naval engineers tested INS Vikrant’s four LM2500 gas turbines, gearboxes, shafts, adjustable propellers, and several integrated control systems. Indian Navy also tested INS Vikrant based on the equipment it has at its disposal, such as air conditioning systems, steering and installation, centrifuges, compressors, pumps, electricity generation, and distribution systems, etc.

The aircraft carrier INS Vikrant can become the pride of the Indian Navy. The warship is the largest ever built in India. It is 260 meters long, 60 meters wide, and has a displacement of 37,500 tons. According to experts from the Ministry of Defense of India, the aircraft carrier will develop a maximum speed of 28 knots. Some military experts say the crew will also be large – 160 officers and 1,400 sailors. Sources reveal one of the essential characteristics of the Indian aircraft carrier – what and how many weapons equipments does it collect? These are up to thirty fighters and helicopters, including the Russian MiG-29K and the K-31 helicopter.

The Indian Ministry of Defense announced in a particular statement that the basin tests have passed under strict military control. During the tests, all participants followed safety measures related to Kovid-19.

“It is solely due to the astute planning and implementation of necessary safety measures on the ground by the navy and the shipyard that the work onboard aircraft carrier could progress unhindered even during the peak of the pandemic,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.

The Made in India program is an initiative of Indian President Narendra Modi. India has its potential in terms of human resources, engineering thought, and technology, and there was no reason for the country not to take this step. The main idea of ​​the program is to produce as many own weapons as possible in the country.

This program was a significant reason why dozens of military deals with the United States, Russia, China, and France failed in the last 12 to 24 months. However, India is still far from seriously developing local weapons technology. That is why it is necessary to buy critical weapons from partner countries. But, as Indian economists and political scientists say, “we already laid the foundation, and construction is beginning.”

India also launched its own new Scorpene-class diesel-electric attack submarine

As we reported on November 12, the Indian Navy launched the fifth Scorpene-class diesel-electric attack submarine, which was manufactured in the country. The INS Vagir Scorpene class was launched on November 12, and according to military experts in the area, the success of local production of Indian submarines is due to the long-term work of the French company Naval Group and the transfer of technology it has implemented locally. The manufacturer of the new attacking submarine is the Indian shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited [MDL].

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The launch of INS Vagir brings significant success to the Indian economy, as in addition to the main contractor being a local Indian shipyard, dozens of micro, small and medium-sized Indian companies have participated through the production of various equipment, parts , assemblies and mechanical activities that are set to form the basis of a secure Indian program to build modern submarines to meet the challenge of our time.

The representative of the French Naval Group told reporters that this event is significant for France, as in the face of an epidemic situation in the world, the two countries and companies from both countries have managed to work together on a program of the Indian government, which will be proved to be a key element in Franco-Indian relations. According to Alain Guillot [Naval Group – ed.], thanks to this cooperation, India is already demonstrating the independence of the Indian Navy.

There is another company that took part in the construction of the Indian submarine and that is the Spanish Navantia. It should also be noted that Scorpéne-class submarines are not unknown to the general military international community, as Chile, Malaysia and Brazil, and now India, have this class of submarines. According to information provided by Naval Group, so far the French company has sold 14 such submarines worldwide.

What impresses with the new Indian submarine? In order for India to avoid international sanctions on nuclear energy, the design of the INS Vagir was taken from that of the Amethyste hull adrenal submarine hull, but was significantly reduced. Military experts note the Indian submarine has a well-extended middle section and a rounded bow. According to them, this is very similar to the design of Albacore class submarines.

INS Vagir has two decks, with diesel turbines and electric batteries located in the lower deck of the submarine. Torpedoes are fired forward through the nose, which is not unusual, but quite common and preferred solutions in recent years. The crew of the submarine will consist of 31 sailors who will share several acoustically isolated rooms. Everything for the comfort of the sailor is provided, as well as the air conditioning of the cabins.

1250kW is the power of one diesel engine, and this ship has two. Electric batteries [one electric motor – ed.] deliver a power of 900 kW.

Regarding armaments, it is clear that the new Indian submarine will be able to carry up to 18 torpedoes and missiles and 30 mines. The torpedoes and missiles are fired through 21-inch torpedo tubes, noting that the Indian submarine will be able to launch both torpedoes and anti-ship torpedoes and anti-surface torpedoes. Everything about armaments and fire control systems is automated.

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