How effective is INS Vikrant compared to the carriers of other nations?
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic effected various economic activities across India, the Indian Navy has maintained to keep on track the construction of country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
The Indian Navy, which is well aware of growing threat from China and its expansionist plans in the Indian Ocean Region, has used modern innovative methods such as video conferencing and monitoring by cameras to fill the gaps caused in the process due to the pandemic, the Economic Times has reported.
INS Vikrant is being built by Indian Navy at its Kochi shipyard, and as per sources cited by ET, the work has been on track and is expected to finish in time. The aircraft carrier is expected to be inducted in the Navy next year and is likely to begin operations by 2022.
The project has been long-delayed and originally the ship was to be ready by 2018. However, now the ship is expected to be operational by 2022.
The warship weighs 37,500-tonne and may initially operate MiG 29K fighters but could also have indigenous combat aircrafts fly from its deck like the maritime version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
This is the largest warship to be constructed in an Indian yard and by testing its engines it now enters its final phase of construction
INS Vikrant is a class of aircraft carrier being built for the Indian Navy. The class represents the largest warships and the first aircraft carriers to be designed and built in India. The lead ship of the class is also the first aircraft carrier designed and built in Asia featuring STOBAR and ski-jumps, and the first built to operate jet-powered aircraft.
Work on the ship’s design began in 1999, and the keel was laid in February 2009. The carrier was floated out of its dry dock on 29 December 2011 and was launched in 2013. As of 2018, the ship is expected to be completed by December 2018, after which it will be handed over to the Navy and undergo two years of sea trials before its expected commissioning in October 2020
Now, coming to the comparison, I would take a super carrier of the US as the reference point. Usually a carrier more than 70,000 tonnes deadweight is called a super carrier. India’s planned super carrier INS Vishal is still in the Design Phase & would most probably be commissioned in & around 2030, even though the websites say 2025.
Now, USS Nimitz, a super carrier of the US Navy was commissioned way back in 1975. So, we are roughly 50–60 years behind when compared to the world’s most powerful navy at the present.
INS Vikrant has around 40,000 tonnes displacement whereas a super carrier can have more than 1,00,000 tonnes displacement.
INS Vikrant will sport a running length of 860 feet with a beam of 200 feet and a draught of 28 feet. She will be conventionally-powered by 4 x General Electric LM2500+ series gas turbines developing power to two shafts. Maximum speed in ideal conditions is estimated at 28 knots with an operational range out to 7,500 miles. Her crew complement will consist of 1,400 officers, sailors, airmen and mechanics.
Length is 262 m, which is small. Most of the advanced nations’ aircraft carriers are more than 300 m long.
Uses STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) whereas some super carriers use EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System) which uses magnets to drive down the catapult for the take-off operation of the aircraft. EMALS (or even CATOBAR), are both considered superior technologies, win hands down.
Range of INS Vikrant is around 12000 km to 15000 km where as some of the navies’ have nuclear propulsion plants that can go on for 25 years without re-fuelling.
Vikrant will be able to field up to 30 fixed-wing aircraft as well as a further 10 rotary-wing designs. The Mikoyan MiG-29K Fulcrum is expected to take the fixed-wing lead in. Helicopter types under consideration include the British Westland Sea King and the Russian Kamov Ka-31 series.
INS Vikrant can carry around 30–35 aircraft whereas many super carriers can carry as many as 70–75 aircraft.
Much smaller. Complement of only 1500 persons whereas some of the US Navy’s super carriers have a complement of 2500. All officers & crew included.
INS Vikrant uses Gas Turbine, which is more efficient than a Diesel turbine but less efficient when compared to nuclear propulsion.
Flight deck area of INS Vikrant is around 10,000 m sq where as some of the super carriers have a deck areas of 25,000 m sq.
INS Vikrant has 14 decks in all whereas some of the super carriers have 25 decks. So, the height of our carrier is somewhat less when compared to super carriers of other nations’ navies.
The hangar of INS Vikrant can support around 20 fighter aircraft where as some of the hangars of super carriers can accommodate 30–35 fighter aircraft for maintenance & repair.
Vikrant modern C/D band Early Air Warning Radar, V/UHF Tactical Air Navigational and Direction Finding systems, jamming capabilities over the expected Electro Magnetic (EM) environment and Carrier Control Approach Radars to aid air operations. Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR SAM) systems with Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and Close- In Weapon System (CIWS) will form the protective suite of the ship. All weapon systems onboard the carrier will be integrated through an indigenous Combat Management System (CMS).
Make no mistake, the Vikrant endeavor is of great importance to the Navy of India. In terms of national pride, the initiative cannot be understated. However, this being its first “true” indigenous carrier-design-and-building attempt undertaken by the country, Vikrant will face its fair share of challenges regarding available materials, experience, technological and engineering know-how to see the project to completion in a satisfactory way.
India- INS Vikrant & PLA- Liaoning
WEAPON EQUIPMENT –
Liaoning is equipped with AESA and Sea Eagle (Type 381) 3D Radar developed in China. It has a range of 100 Km (62 mi) and Altitude of 8000m. The radar has the capability to track 10 targets simultaneously. Like almost all modern ships which have CIWS, Liaoning is equipped with three Chinese Type 1030 CIWS which has 10 barrels that can fire 30mm ammunition at the rate of 10,000 rounds/min. The Ship is equipped with Chinese FL-3000N SAM having maximum range of 9KM for subsonic targets and 6KM for supersonic targets. To protect itself from the submarines, it is equipped with ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) 12 tube rocket launchers.
INS Vikrant is equipped with Israeli ELTA MF Star Radar and Italian Selex RAN-40L radar. MF Star has the range greater than 25KM for low flying attacking missile and greater than 250KM for high flying aircrafts. Selex RAN-40L on the other hand has a maximum range of 400KM and minimum rang of 180m. In the area of early warning and enemy detection INS Vikrant has an upper hand. CIWS and LR SAM used in INS Vikrant . INS Vikrant is equipped with four Otobreda 76 mm Italian made compact cannon which has the capability to fire 120 rounds/min up to 20KM. Westland Sea King Helicopter will be primarily responsible for providing ASW capabilities to the Indian indigenous aircraft carrier. India has not declared yet if it has ASW rocket launchers on board INS Vikrant.
Source :- Quora