New Vikrant Class carrier

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11 March 2006
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No doubt running late...but an interesting design with help of Fincantari. Expected to weigh in at 38,000t full load, 250m in length and about 24-32 aircraft.


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actually full load will be above 40 k , the design was "upped" from 33,500 to 37,500 (standard displacement)
complement will be Mig-29K and LCA (fighter wing)
Thanks for the link...but there does not seem to be a definitive design. Janes Fighting Ships I note is going with the renderd version in my first post. But one in your link certainly tries to introduce some italian design lines from the Cavour. Time will tell.
Fincanteri I thought was mainly involved in matching / designing in the engines. I will wait and see if the top side looks like cavour's
the island may look similar (positioning) .. but this will be no mere scaled up cavour .... remember this is an AC optimised for non V/STOL fighter operations rather than a multi purpose ship like Cavour ... there is also talk of putting in a powder catapult
Im with you avatar...if Fincanteri are involved in the engine fit aspect of design only, its my bet it would not be a scaled up cavour too.
avatar said:
the island may look similar (positioning) .. but this will be no mere scaled up cavour .... remember this is an AC optimised for non V/STOL fighter operations rather than a multi purpose ship like Cavour ... there is also talk of putting in a powder catapult

A "powder catapult"? I assume that means one using solid fuel propellant (ie rockets) of some kind? Why would they go down such a strange and I'd suggest retrograde alley when steam catapults are so well known?
A powder catapult?
Well its likely to be easier to fit such a thing than the various components of a steam catapult to an existing design powered by gas turbines.

Rockets would be different again, RATOG was last considered for future aircraft by the RN seriously during the 1950's and already it was well on the wane.
zen said:
A powder catapult?
Well its likely to be easier to fit such a thing than the various components of a steam catapult to an existing design powered by gas turbines.

Gas Turbines can be used to generate steam, through their heat exchangers. Steam catapults are well proven technology.

Rockets would be different again, RATOG was last considered for future aircraft by the RN seriously during the 1950's and already it was well on the wane.

So, then what is a "powder catapult"? It can either be rockets or some form of gas generator+piston design. Seems to me to still be a less efficient method of launching CTOL aircraft than the use of steam.
in the mid-1950s. Powder-driven catapults were also contemplated, and would have been powerful enough, but would also have introduced far greater stresses on the airframes and may have been unsuitable for long use
2--Experimental investigation and development of catapults using gunpowder was initiated, eventually producing a new type catapult for use in launching aircraft from capital ships.

A powder catapult was successfully demonstrated in the launching of a Martin MO-1 observation plane from the forward turret of the battleship Mississippi (BB 41) at Bremerton, Wash. The aircraft was piloted by Lieutenant L. C. Hayden with Lieutenant W. M. Fellers as passenger. Following this demonstration, the powder catapult was widely used on battleships and cruisers.
Sorry Steam generation as per CVF was for a donkey boilers operating independant of the gas turbines. So quite why they'd opt for that instead of COSAG in these modern times is another question.
Assumably the Indians have come to the same conclusion, that they don't want seperate steam generation or an attempt to generate steam from GT exhausts.
Since they are not going down the route of steam propulsion that leaves them somewhat constrained in choices. So they've looked at a old idea with modern technology.
Powder catapults are effectively a development of gun technology rather than rocketry.
Modern powders can be produced for almost any acceleration required, that side of things having moved in rather since the late 1940s. So its possible now to produce the sort of accelerations that match steam catapults.

RATOG is a set of rockets strapped to the outside of the aircraft to boost thrust at take off.

Besides their eyes must also be on the USNs investigation into EM catapults.

Still it will be interesting to see what the Indians opt for if they ever do actualy build this ship.
well they are building a ship and they will actually end up building more than one ... why do i say this
well there are quite a few private sector players who are building new shipyards that can make ships up to 200000 tons , also new docks are being made that can berth/service such ships .

in fact the follow on to the IAC will be double in size.
there is a parliamentary committee report which has specified these and some major private players are interested and these players are not just anybody .. they are orld beaters and you would probably know their name.

as far as catapults go .. I predict the following
1. either the u.S will give us steam catapults (already talks are on)
or we will use EM catapults, work on which has started with Israel.
I certainly don't doubt that India can build such a ship, and considering the rumblings over purchased ex-USN vessels recently I suspect that theres been a battle over whether to continue with it or buy another old ship. A battle won I hope in favour of the indiginous production of said.

USN catapults would seem the logical move, if they want this ship as soon as possible, which considering the time its taking, every delay must be ever more costly and worrysome for them. The technology is old on steam catapults, but the knowledge to actualy make them work well is now in centered in the USA and quite tricky so I've heard.
Russia experimented with them but had troubles so the rumour goes.

UK knowledge is contained in some very old documents relating to equipment no longer in use anywhere in the world.
Donkey boilers certainly have the advantage that their not dependant on the ships propulsion being active, nor do they drain that propulsion of power. But they do take up more space and burn more fuel.

EM catapults are not here now, and being new, there is all sorts of scope for delays and cost rises. Let the USN pay through the nose to develope this and proove it first.

As for slips to build a ship, I doubt there was ever a problem as such, but drydocks is another matter, they are the real limiter of ship size. Tonnage is not really a useful guide, its length, width, depth, and overall shape that matters in drydocks. As well as access and available workforce.

If I was the Indians right now, I'd certainly look at the PA.2 CVF variant for the next step up.
But then if I was advising the UK, I'd say have CVF built in India under such a deal, and the costs to all would be far lower.
Jumping straight to a Nimitz sized CV is quite a step operationaly and may not even be necessary.
I meant dry dock when I talked about servicing. there is also talk of importing a south korean process which allows wet dock handling ... i'll post something on it when i find it

EM catapults need not be mastered by the U.S and then let the world play catch up ....

if there is money and time to be sunk we will sink it ... because it has been observed before that if we let someone go through the pains of R&D it is not necessary that we can leapfrog .. it may be that they just get ahead and deny us the knowhow thereafter ..

there is quite a bit of talk of PA2 or the DCN design .. however there is a strong lobby in favour of something similar in size to the CVN 21 .. yup.. not a fantasy but actual debate

as far as requirements .. make no mistake, regardless of what noises New Delhi maybe making now, our long term aim is to turn the Indian Ocean into India's ocean ... so you can do the math .. whether we shall succeed or not .. time will tell

and we have a sea control doctrine .. not a sea denial one ..
Certainly India has the potential to go for a Nimitz sized supercarrier, along with the potential to crew them. Whether there is the money in the Navy's pot is another question.

CVF is designed for a very lean crew, the basic is set at 600, plus flight staff. PA.2 may have a higher complement due to maintenence requirements of the arrestor gear and catapults.
Compare and contrast with a Nimitz's 6,400 (though my figures for that are a little out of date).

Costwise, CVF is likely cheaper, both to buy and to operate than a CVN like Nimitz or a conventional powered version.
Certainly it would be interesting to hear the arguments in the India Navy over the merits of moving step by step, via the ADS to something like PA.2 and then onto to a CVN over the direct jump from ADS to CVN.

Really it will depend on what the missions are envisioned for such Indian carriers and that comes down to Indian Foreign Policy.
What is India aiming to do now?
Intervene in East Africa? Seccure the Malacca Straights? Muscle into the Persian Gulf?
Come to the aid of Taiwan?
Intervene in Indonesia?
If so then ships like CVF and the larger Nimitz sized ships are clearly part of such a strategy, though they'd need attendant AAW and ASW ships along with replenishment vessels to sustain them. Is the Indian Navy expanding its assets to fullfill such roles in a CVBG?

But if Indian policy is to stick to self defence, with plans limited to operations against the likes of Pakistan, then ships like the ADS seem satisfactory as a complement of the Air force and of use in ASW operations against SSK's and the projected SSN of Pakistan.

A curious thought occures, has the Indian Navy inherited the sort of thought processess that underpin the RN of old?
If so then power projection would be 'in their blood' so to speak.

US is going ahead with EM catapults last I heard, and the technology itself should'nt be beyond any state with the staff educated to high levels and facilities to support its development. India clearly has that, though I must say the impression of their management is rather less impressive.

This business with the ex-Gorshkov is rather a mess, I suspect it would've been cheaper and faster to just push through the ADS than wait for the Russians.

The question is money and ultimatly willpower, can the Indian Navy drive that project along with the carriers and the rest of the fleet (both surface and submarine) and the aircraft they want. When like with every nation they will be fighting as much with the other forces (Army, and Airforce) over funds as they will with the other ministeries of the Indian government. Is the pot of money for military forces that large?

As for technology transfer, the US is assidiously courting India so good negotiators will push to get what they want.
the development of the Indian navy has been prioritised even over the IAF .. the reasons are clear .

1. India needs energy .. period
2. Big corporations who are acquiring stuff overseas need protection and are also driving our energy policy.
3. these guys have a shit load of interest to protect and they are driving India's naval expansion and they want the works .. make no mistake.
4. India will definitely not be a part of Uncle Sam's thousand ship network.
5. India's stated aim is to control the sea from the straits of malacca to the persian gulf.
6. The PLAN will not be allowed into the open ocean .
7. In the event of any conflict Indian forces will fight the PLAN in the South China Sea and not in the bay of bengal .. apart from the odd submarine that may sneak past or will be based in some myanmar port (the latter seems increasingly unlikely because of improving relations with myanmar that includes a significant military component)
8. yes Taiwan , Indonesia , The cape of good hope are all on the table .. no mistake .. The smaller carriers for fleet defense are only an interim measure ... power projection is in our blood .. just read any book on Indian naval history
9. the original vikrant was a catobar carrier.
10. we rejected the soviet naval doctrine in the sixties itself.
11. during operation Sukoon, of the coast of lebanon (2006) we demonstrated our sealift capabilities.
12. we also have an increasingly "rich" diaspora to protect.
as far as the CBG..

project 15 A destroyers are under construction.

Project 15 B will displace 8000 tonnes and will in all probability house AD-1 and AD-2 (in development ) type ABM interceptors.

5000 tonne multi purpose frigates are at various levels of planning and construction .
2000+ ton corvettes for ASW roles in the same state as above.

The escorts will be in place when the carriers are ready

money is no object (literally)

the expected gains are huge.(hopefully)

the IAF is also into power projection and i will not be surprised if they suddenly "realise" that refueled flankers are not enough and they need strategic bombers .. which would almost likely be the PAK-DA or a derivative.

they had earlier tried to shoot down the IAC (2000) by claiming that more land based flANKERS COULD PROVIDE ADEQUATE AIR COVER EVEN AS FAR OUT to the Persian Gulf !

of course they do have the hypersonic HSDTV a la HTV-3X to fall back on. (for strike roles of course)
1. Indeed it does
2. Exports of manufactured goods need to get through to the customer clearly.
Imports of fuels and various other materials need to get into India, though I understand there are issues with internal transport on that front?

4. I know nothing of a 'thousand ship' network, and frankly I worry about how their courting India. Logic suggestes they should be offering full partner status into the intelligence sharing side of things, but I suspect their pushing a bilateral deal instead.

5. quite logical from an Indian perspective, but attempts to drive others out of the Indian Ocean would be folly, when many can be allies working for common aims. Blind aggression wins no wars, but certainly starts them.
Remember the true master of war teaches his enemy to be his friend.

6.No one wants the PLAN in the Indian Ocean save for the fools who think the Beijing is their saviour.
7. To defend against penetration by SSN you'll need allies, the Indian Navy cannot cover the full range of entry points. Australia should be courted if thats your aim.
8. I am not surprised, though quite what India intends to actualy persue in policy terms is a good question. Do the Indians concern themselves with the likes of Ache or Irian Jaya?
Do they know of the Matebele?

9. I know.
10. Thank gods for that!
11. Now there is something to look at thanks!
12. Diaspora is a loaded term I suspect.

Beware hyperbole, and I hope the Indian Navy maintains the hard lessons of life at sea.
An Indian CVBG would be quite a thing to see and certainly a potent force.

Now then.
Money is always an object and there is always a limit to it. India's government has a lot of things to cover and spend money on beyond a military wishlist. There will always be budget fights and always some will come out with less than they hoped for.
Gains from investments and spending need to be clear and balanced against the costs.

For the Indian Airforce clearly it will move to prove its own usefullness beyond India's borders, so I agree something on the strategic bomber front is likely to be a major desire for them. Though if the Navy persues its full aims the Airforce will have to play second fiddle to them overseas. If the Navy let the Airforce do to much it will detract from them and have their cherished projects questioned in a unflattering light.
BEWARE THE CLAIM OF AIRFORCE COVER FOR THE NAVY! Don't fall for that old chestnut.

As for the hypersonic side of things, I won't hold my breath. Too much hyperbole on that front for decades has left me rather jaded on the topic.

As for the ADS what exactly is happening on that front right now?
Last I heard there where issues over delays and not enough steel of the right type available.
there was an Indian Ocean naval summit held this year in New Delhi with chiefs from 30 Indian Ocean navies .. .. we have our own philosophy and that philosophy necessarily involves working in concert with other people and using force as a recourse only when absolutely necessary .. we believe in deterrence not in humiliating other people .. but deterrence requires its own significant force posture and we are building that.

Our energy companies are acquiring assets abroad .. those need to be covered ... maritime trade as always will be a concern ..... there is also a huge exclusive economic zone to protect .. plus a myriad other things.

China has tried a string of pearls strategy against us (Pakistan, BD, even Sri Lanka not to mention Myanmar . it is only logical that we reciprocate in kind ... so even though we know that the PRC has to save face (which is why posturing on Tibet is kept at a minimum) .. we will act near the Taiwan straits when necessary .

we are setting up our own SOSUS and co-operation with Australia is a given . of course Australia has to get out of the " arm ripping theories" , China appeasement by Rudd who is on his way to become the next Holt and toeing Uncles's line on various issues . In fact if Australia is prudent it will throw in its lot with India and realise that we are not out to get it the way some others are. Of course all this is a tall ask and " we are the final outpost of the wEst will no doubt continue to be popular in Australia"

you will find that her majesty's government (U.K) is slowly but surely orienting itself towards the republic of India and away from the U.S

you will be surprised to know how many Indian corporations are active in Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea
that archipelago has energy resources we need .. they need IT , soft skills , technology that actually works in tropical conditions etc

Internal transport is being fixed .. we will soon have more than 30000 km worth of pipelines (varying capacity of course) and 20 000 km worth expressways

new developments in hypersonic braking are going to make this a reality and the govt is seriously pushing this ...

the ADS steel issue was primarily an outcome of SAIL exporting ( special steel) excessively to China ... (i'll find you a link) .. 1000 tons were imported from Russia and the issue has been fixed .. ADS is now called the IAC (you would probably know the history) .. it will sail in 2014

money for special projects comes from different sources ( as in other countries) and really, it is not a case of guns and butter here ( that money would never have been assigned to the poor anyway)

Also do not go by the official budget .. money is often released ad hoc in India based on "supreme national interest" .. so say if you need 4.5 billion for three new SSBNs .. it will be made available through a special allocation mid-year
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