原文标题：India without aircraft carrier as China takes huge strides
NEW DELHI: India may fancy itself as a regional superpower but does not have an aircraft carrier prowling on the high seas. Its solitary carrier, the 54-year-old INS Viraat, is out of action for several months once again for a major refit to ensure it can soldier on for another three to four years.
Despite the Indian Ocean having emerged as the new strategic theatre between India and China, the Indian politico-military establishment's lack of long-term planning and timely decision-making has all but dashed the Navy's long-standing ambition to deploy two potent carrier battle groups (CBGs).
China, in contrast, is taking huge strides in the arena. After last year's commissioning of its first carrier, the 65,000-tonne Liaoning, Beijing is furiously engaged in building more to further expand its "blue-water operations''.
If China sees aircraft carriers as "symbols of a great nation'', the US has realized their role in projecting power around the globe for long. As part of its pivot towards Asia-Pacific, at least six of the 11 American CBGs will be deployed in the region. Incidentally, each US carrier is over 94,000 tonne and capable of handling 80-90 fighters.
But the Indian Navy is continuing to flog an old warhorse because of huge delays in other carrier projects. One, Russia will deliver INS Vikramaditya, or the 44,570-tonne Admiral Gorshkov refurbished for $2.33 billion, only by December at the earliest, a good two decades after India first showed interest in it.
Two, Navy will not get its hands on the 40,000-tonne indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) being built at Cochin Shipyard anytime before 2018. The follow-on 65,000-tonne IAC-II still remains a mere pipedream.
Sources say the 28,000-tonne INS Viraat, the second-hand HMS Hermes inducted by India in May 1987, is currently undergoing "a normal refit'' that takes at least eight to nine months. In the first phase at the Kochi dockyard, the 13-storey high warship is undergoing "hull and other underwater work''. Next in Mumbai, the ship will get its boilers, propulsions and other technical parts overhauled.
"The plan was to operate INS Viraat, whose keel was laid in 1944, for only 10 years after 1987. But fund crunches, protracted negotiation and consequent refit of Gorshkov and huge delays in launching the IAC project has meant INS Viraat has to be kept running,'' said a source.
INS Viraat has undergone a series of refits, with the last major life-extension one being in 2008-2009. With age, it has also lost most of its teeth. The Navy now has only 11 Sea Harrier jump-jets available to operate from its deck, with no replacement of the fighters possible.
The irony is that while INS Viraat has just a few fighters left, India is progressively inducting 45 MiG-29K fighters, ordered from Russia for over $2 billion, meant for INS Vikramaditya though the carrier itself is still awaited. In effect, India will have two effective CBGs only when INS Vikramaditya and IAC can operate together some time after 2018.
John From Goa (Goa)
India should invest in submarines, thats reply for aircraft carriers
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If u elect Italian waitress for 10 years that's what happens n even Pak doesn't care India
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OUR PRIME MINISTER IS TOO WEAK AND PAKISTAN AND CHINA TAKING ADVANTAGE .
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We paid a gazillion US dollars to the Russians for vikramaditya - an aircraft carrier that the soviet navy did not want. The price was raised several times while our Indian Navy Admiral overseeing the operation was busy engaged in inspecting a Russian lady younger than his daughter, while he should have keeping his eye on the work. (naval business, not Navel business). The entire defense procurement business is in a shambles set up to corrupt our military iofficers, and enriches our Nata/Babu complex. Privatize and Indigenize!! That is what the Chinese, French, USA, Britain, Sweden, Danes, etc have done . WHY DON'T WE?
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China has increased its expenditure on defense by 10% and we r not even growing at half of that figure...
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Aircraft carriers are like old iron-clad battleships. They are slow moving sitting ducks to Air-attack and smart torpedoes. In all WW2 naval operations, Air-craft carriers were sunk by Air assult or torpedoes or both. Hence their utility as a effective platform against a modern Air-force is questionable. What India needs and must possess is a best Air, Space forces. Also India needs unmanned long range fighter drones and Ballistic nuclear submarines. Aircraft carriers can wait.
The author of this article clearly does not understand the strategic implications of each type of naval platforms and hence is giving undue importance to enemy capabilities. Ofcourse its a concern, which India must guard against, but also India must strive to build an effective coalition against a mighty and aggressive opponent.
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xxx (India) replies to Amol
How much US aircraft carriers were sunk in the last 50 years? Exactly, 0.
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Amol replies to xxx
In last 50 years, every war US has fought was with an inferior enemy (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Taliban/AlQaida), expect the Soviet, with whom they never fought an actual "HOT" war. Hence to those with inferior defense forces, the Air-craft carrier seemed a mighty show of force. All that has now changed. In fact China itself showed the vulnerability of US Aircraft carriers to their "carrier-killer" missiles. I am sure, Indians too have such technology, but do not want to publicize. Loosing a Aircraft carrier battle group in war is like loosing an entire Army. So the question is, does India want to put all its eggs in one basket?
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Anil (India) replies to Amol
If India wants to patrol in the Chinese sea, Intervense in Bangladesh, Maledives or Sri Lanka or chase the Chinese away from Andaman aircarft carriers are a must. It is the only instrument from which aircraft can operate far from home base in order to refuel and reattack. BTW, these carriers have advanced radar that can detect incoming missiles which they can counter and for air attack the planes van handel themselves.
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Gaurav Tyagi (Banglore)
Digging their own grave... Socialist talks about feeding people first and buying arms second priority but with neighbors like Pakistan and China you needs weapons first... This weird attitude might cost India another war from China... China is increasing tension with every nation around her... Soon India will taste the same conflict...
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Whatever floating junk India has, which can move on the sea must be renamed as INS 'GHABRAHAT'. Something is at least better than nothing!
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China's defense budget up 10%, Indian politicians loot budget up 100% ! Who says we are lagging behind our figures are much higher so chill out guys.
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Indian navy is too backward
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The Defence Ministry can conveniently blame Russia for the delay in delivering INS Vikramaditya; who does it plan to blame for the delay in the delivery of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier?
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Hahaha India is only good for second hand items! XD All thanks to our great politicians of our great great motherland India. Oh I love my country!
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Satpal Jabbal (UK)
Do we really need one ?
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Better we should compete with China in infrastucure development.
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Shivam Sahni (Tampa)
We Indians need to wake up to the reality if we are to make real progress. Stop calling India a superpower, It's far from it !
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the govt is procuring 2 aircraft carriers, which india will have by 2017. and one of the aircraft carriers india's acquiring will be the biggest in asia, on top of that, china's been modernizing its military much earlier than india, so of course they'll be a head of us in military technology.
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The Aircraft carrier plans are being sabotaged to make India rely on foreign imports which give kickbacks to many Indian politicians, Navy personnell and scientists.
quite a shallow analysis by pandit. India is operating an aircraft carrier for last 3 decades china is starting now. if we take that into account India has a large operational edeg over china to manage CBGs. Besides China would take at least a deacade to activate any credible defence CBGs in total. Addtionally in case of India ocean strategic matter pandit has large skipped political will part nicely. thereby making it as a one sided article. Till now Chinese defence spending was largely India centric with army taking chunk of budget. with additional focus on Japan.If the development of bluewater navy doctrine is concerned India would large advantage over china due to vairous roles on India Ocean and middle east operations. Additionally, another part of strategic parlances would be creating interoperability with other navies and making relations for joint operations as responsible power, where does china stands as of now?? over all article only slams indian defence prepardness and does not come out with any deeper analysis. Merely doing India china comprision would be futile if it is not done in totatlity.
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Why is Russia continously delaying delivery of the carrier. Is it influenced by other countries
kannan (chennai) replies to kotian
I think politicians commission not yet settled.
India need to develop long time strategies. Opportunistic politics and policies by Indian govt wont help us.
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India as a Dumb Student have learned nothing since 1962 Indo-China war.
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Manoj Kumar (Delhi)
This news is merely meant to provoke India to increase its defense budget. India should not have any competition with China; we will do things according to our requirements, and not because China is doing it.
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A country is same as human body.. we cannot fight with others if we are ill.. India is suffering with a Cancer called congress.. Internal enemies should be removed first.. then only we can fight against external enemies.. I suggest kill corrupt politicians first.. clean up.. and move ahead strengthen ourselves..
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Amalendu Kumar Dhar (Lagos)
We wake only when we are kicked in our ass....trust me sooner or later it will happen
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Innocent guy (Asia)
Chinese are almost prepared, just a matter of pressing the war button, while India would still be repairing the plastic made INS viraat carrier with nails and bolts!
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NK Singh (china)
India is tortoise and china is that rabbit. But India is hopping at the end India will win the race. if we don't through out this congress govt we will never move.
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ALI GHIAS (MOON)
"India military power is nothing,comparing to China anytime.They will outclass India in everything.
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Hopeless situation we are in. I think a revolution is required to save the country
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