Sunday, October 18, 2009

Indian navy will soon be ready to beat China

The altercation between India and China these years often could be heard from the media. The two countries have unsolved border problems, which have lasted for 60 years. Recently, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the controversial boarder region Arunachal Pradesh for an election rally. China expressed strong dissatisfaction over his visit to this disputed area.

To become a regional tycoon in South East Asia, India has been working hard in the past several decades. Recently, as one part of the global strategy to isolate China, the United States has agreed to help India modernize its military technologies. Meanwhile, the U.S. is going to sell advanced weapons and military systems to India. The arms dealers Lockheed Martin and Boeing are marching into Indian market. And more, this year the code of the annually joint ground-drill between the United States and India was escalated from last year’s ‘Anti-Terror’ to this time’s ‘War Study’. On October 19, 2009 the air forces between U.S. and India will hold another joint exercise coded ‘Cope India-09’ together. Under the aids of the United States, India is striving for the status of a military giant to best China. This article below will say something on the fast development of Indian navy.

Different from China that it does not have an aircraft carrier and just announced it had the ability to build an aircraft carrier, India will expand the number of its aircraft carriers from recent one to four before 2019. Inevitably, Indian navy will become the strongest navy in the region of South East Asia in next 5 to 10 years.

Recently, India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is being renovated out from Russia’s aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov in Russia. To get this second-hand carrier from Russia, India is going to pay USD2.9 billion which covers the complement of its aircraft. When the Gorshkov contract was signed in 2004, the deal for this 40,000-ton carrier and its aircraft was only 1.5 billion US dollars. To finally get the carrier, India has agreed to pay the total cost demanded by Russia. The sea trial of the INS Vikramaditya (Gorshkov) is scheduled between 2011 and 2012. It will be put into service in 2014.

The INS Vikramaditya (Gorshkov) was originally slated to replace the incumbent carrier INS Viraat. But after four mid-service refits during Sept.1993 to Aug.2009, the Viraat has had its engine and hull refurbished, and its electronics upgraded, so it will continue to serve Indian naval force till 2019.

Besides the two carriers above, India now is building a 40,000-ton aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at its state-run Cochin Shipyard in the southern state of Kerala. The shipbuilding yard is going to complete the project and hand over the carrier to the 137-ship Indian navy by 2012.

After completion, the carrier INS Vikrant will carry 30 Russian- and locally-made jet fighters (Mig-29K and HAL Tejas), as well as up to 10 Kamov Ka-31 or HAL Dhruv helicopters.

The carrier is 260m long (853 feet). It will be powered by four gas turbines and have a range of 7,500 nautical miles (13,890km). It will have a top speed of 28 knots (52km/h) and will carry 160 officers and 1,400 sailors.Another order for the fourth aircraft carrier in the series of INS Vikrant is expected to be placed by 2010. It is planned to be inducted into the Indian navy by 2017.

From above we know India will have up to four aircraft carriers cruising on oceans before 2019. Along with the construction of the carriers, India is building other 19 warships, including frigates and corvettes, and buying patrol-boats. Indian navy will be much stronger than Chinese navy five years later. If Indian navy can be equipped with some advanced defensive systems from U.S. (f.g. Aegis Combat Systems), this day will come much quicker. Indian navy will be ready to best China soon.