India, UK in talks to replicate HMS Queen Elizabeth supercarrier, to be named INS Vishal
The United Kingdom is in talks with India for building a new state-of-the-art aircraft carrier along the lines of Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the ongoing ‘Make in India’ negotiations. The Indian Navy is in talks with the British government to buy detailed plans for the 65,000-ton British warship to build a so-called “copycat supercarrier” named INS Vishal in 2022.”An Indian delegation has already visited Rosyth dockyard in Scotland where HMS Queen Elizabeth was assembled and where a second supercarrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is now being built,” the ‘Sunday Mirror’ reported.
As per the media inputs, if both the countries finalise the deal, the new warship would be built in India and UK companies could supply many of the parts.
The report further states that this new Naval carrier would serve alongside India’s 45,000-ton carrier INS Vikramaditya bought from Russia in 2004 and the future 40,000-ton INS Vikrant giving India a larger carrier fleet than Britain.
The QE-class carriers are STOVL (Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing) carriers. This means that they can only launch and fixed-wing aircraft with STOVL/VTOL capability (e.g. F-35B, Harrier). Any AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) aircraft that it can operate are restricted to helicopters due to this. In comparison, American carriers use catapults to launch a variety of aircraft regardless of weather conditions, including larger two-engined props like the E-2 Hawkeye AEW&C.
The fighters that the Queen Elizabeth can carry (planned to be the F-35B) are unable to take off vertically with heavy loads, in which case they must use the ski-jump ramp. Unlike the Chinese Liaoning or the Russian Admiral Kuznetsov,the ramp is not full-width (see the picture of Liaoning below), restricting the number of spots aircraft can take off from. This in turn restricts the carrier’s ability to launch multiple, heavily-loaded aircraft in a given period of time.
As for propulsion, the Queen Elizabeth uses IEP (Integrated Electric Propulsion), a relatively advanced method of conventional propulsion that drives the ship with electric motors, rather than directly via diesel or gas turbines. While superior to other existing forms of conventional propulsion, IEP still does not compare to the endurance of nuclear-powered American supercarriers. Each of them (see below) can cruise near their maximum speed for 25 years before the nuclear fuel needs replacing.
Beyond these features, the Indians have not publicly released many details about Vishal’s expected configuration. Most notably, there remains a question about whether it will be a Catapult Assisted Take-Off Barrier Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) type, like U.S. Navy supercarriers, or a Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) design with a ski jump in the front like the smaller Vikramaditya and up-coming Vikrant.
But whether India decides to go with a CATOBAR arrangement using EMALS or steam, or stick with a STOBAR configuration, BAE will have to make significant changes to the existing Queen Elizabeth design. The Royal Navy’s carriers are built to accommodate Short-Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) type aircraft that don’t need catapults or arresting gear at all.
However, the United Kingdom only arrived at this decision after a notable debate over the carrier’s configuration, which means that BAE has already done at least some design work on STOBAR and CATOBAR variations. “The design is adaptable to offer either ski-jump or catapult launch and can be modified to meet Indian Navy and local industry requirements,” the BAE representative explained to Australian Defence.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy and is capable of carrying up to 60 aircraft. It has been named in honour of the first Queen Elizabeth.
Source:- The Drive , Quora