Chinese military strategist Liu Kui says India’s aircraft carrier strategy ‘a failure’
A Chinese military strategist at a People’s Liberation Army Navy think-tank has dubbed India’s aircraft carrier strategy a failure, calling for China to expand its own carrier programme as the PLA Navy readies its aircraft second carrier.
Liu Kui, of the Naval Equipment Research Institute of the PLA Navy, said that the recent decommissioning of INS Viraat, which left India with one aircraft carrier, had shown that India’s long-time strategy to dominate the Indian Ocean with three aircraft carriers was “falling flat”.
“The Indian Navy’s dream of having three aircraft carriers has fallen flat because it overestimated its R&D capability and the country’s overall strength, and undertook an excessively massive strategy that eventually got stranded,” said Liu, in an article published on the PLA’s official website, in Chinese and in English.
“To achieve the goal of three aircraft carriers, India, while extending the INS Viraat’s service time, invested a lot of money to modify the INS Vikramaditya and carried on with the INS Vikrant development, but the seemingly efficient ‘three-pronged’ approach didn’t go as successfully as expected,” he said.
“The INS Vikramaditya has cost so much money that the new INS Vikrant that should have been commissioned in 2014 won’t be completed until 2018, and whether India can meet that deadline is still uncertain.”
Lessons for China ::
He said there were “lessons” for China from India’s experience, and that it should carry on with its aircraft carrier programme as well as enhance civilian-military integration to boost capabilities.
His comments came as Chinese military officials signalled that China’s second aircraft carrier – its first home-grown one after the refitted Liaoning – would be ready for sea trials by 2019. At the on-going session of China’s National People’s Congress or Parliament, which announced a 7 per cent hike in defence spending, several military experts have called for a boost to the Navy’s funding and to expand the aircraft carrier programme.
PLA Navy Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo, who is also a member of parliament, said China “needs two carrier strike groups in the West Pacific Ocean and two in the Indian Ocean. So, we need at least five to six aircraft carriers.”
In the article, the PLA Navy expert, Liu Kui, said that Indian navy strategists had envisaged “two aircraft carriers in order to ‘dominate’ the Indian Ocean and control the Bay of Bengal east of India and the Arabian Sea” and “a third aircraft carrier as a mobile force to provide quick aid or sail to other sea areas critical for its interests.”
India’s ocean strategy
“However, in comparison to India’s ocean strategy, its aircraft carrier development hasn’t been a plain sailing,” he said.
“First, India isn’t capable of independent ship R&D and modification. Second, India’s strategic layout isn’t consistent with its overall national strength.”
He also said India had a “carrier complex” and “mistook the deterrence of aircraft carrier for combat capability”. “It is imperative to develop aircraft carriers, but it cannot be hurried through. Not all carrier-borne aircraft can be put into combat, but India insisted on increasing the number of aircraft carriers under such circumstances.”
He concluded there were lessons for China, starting with providing “continuous support to the development of aircraft carriers.”
Indian Navy continuously growing in strength ::
“Although no large-scale warfare broke out in the Indian Ocean in the past few decades, the Indian Navy is continuously growing in strength, and the existence of aircraft carrier especially deters other countries along the Indian Ocean from violating India’s marginal islands. In peacetime, an aircraft carrier is an effective naval vessel that displays deterrence and protects regional and world peace.”He said China should also “continue to reinforce its innovation and R&D capability” rather than, as in India’s case, rely on imports, and also “make steady progress with combat capability as the top priority” rather than “in haste”.
He also called for further civilian-military integration, which has enabled China to build a domestic military industrial complex.
“A major obstacle in India’s development of aircraft carriers is the inadequate overall national strength, which makes it unable to afford the operation and R&D of three aircraft carriers all at once,” he concluded. “The future war isn’t just about the military, but concerns the whole nation. China should promote and implement the military-civilian strategy in depth and advance national and military development in parallel.
Source:- India Today