Keel of second Aircraft carrier must be laid on 15 Aug 2024

Keel of second Aircraft carrier must be laid on 15 Aug 2024

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Keel of second Aircraft carrier must be laid on 15 Aug 2024

With the new Government sworn in and indicating continuity, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath must kick start the process for keel laying of the second indigenous aircraft carrier for the Bhartiya Jal Sena.

This, has been very well brought out in a book NAVIGATING DANGEROUS waters written by not some naval strategist but of all the people an Army officer. He says that the real decisive battle with the Chinese will not be fought in Arunachal, Sikkim or Ladakh but in the Indian Ocean. Thousands of km down South from Galwan or Bum La, passes the jugular vein of the Chinese dragon. Even a slash here will lead to bleeding and slow death.

Historically all invaders coming to the Indian subcontinent through Hindukush mountains were either chased away, returned after some looting or git assimilated into the Indian society. However Europeans who came through the sees, ruled India for long and looted it on an astronomical scale.

The Portuguese who came first in 1524, ruled in the most cruel manner, were the last to be thrown out in 1961. Portuguese were able to overpower the mighty Zamorin of Calicut with just six warships with cannons.

The above historical mistake cannot be repeated. So even the Raksha Mantri has echoed the need of providing six aircrafts carriers to the Navy as brought out in the book mentioned above.

Therefore even while price negotiations for 26 Naval Rafale jets is all set to commence, the Navy’s long-standing demand for a third aircraft carrier too must come to fruition. Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) must begin the construction of a second Vikrant-class 40,000-odd tonne platform by laying its keel on 15 Aug 2024.

Building the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-2, or IAC-2, albeit with some essential modifications and with latest technology must commence forthwith. The Float component this time is likely to be 100 % compared with INS Vikrant’s 90%, the Move component to increase from 60 % to 90 % and Fight component from 30 % to 60 %.

Immediate kick starting will also prevent the carrier-building expertise, from lapsing just like Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilder’s (MDL) submarine building expertise was allowed to deliberately dissipate after building the fourth HDW designed submarine INS Shankul in 1996. Submarine building could be restarted only in 2005 at a high cost both money and capabilities wise.

Currently only the Western and the Eastern Naval Commands have a Carrier Battle Group each. Now its time to provide a Carrier Battle Group to Andaman & Nicobar Command too to not only guard the Eastern Gate but to ensure safety of Natuna Sea too. By the time this INS Virat firms the third Carrier Battle Group, there is likely to be a third fleet forming and operating in the Andaman sea and Natuna Sea.

The debate and reservations over the aircraft Carriers like its astronomical cost its operational efficacy in an anti access / area denial capability honed by China and Pakistan are all red herrings. A Carrier Battle Group too can protect itself and fight in any environment.

The name of this Ocean HIND MAHASAGAR or INDIAN OCEAN ( given by the rest of the World ) itself suggests our Navy must move from Sea Denial Strategy to Sea Control Strategy. This will be befitting the fastest growing economy and a rising power.

Repeating the mistakes of Mughals and Zamorin is simply not acceptable. It’s the way shown by Shivaji and his SURKHAIL (Grand Admiral) Kanho ji Angre which needs to be followed.