INS Vikrant: Why Aircraft Carriers Are The Need Of The Hour For India | Explained

INS Vikrant: With the construction of 'Vikrant,' India has joined a select group of nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, and France, that have the unique capability of designing and building an aircraft carrier in-house. But, what does an aircraft carrier mean for India?

By Shivam Shandilya
Updated: Fri, 02 Sep 2022 09:54 PM IST
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INS Vikrant: Why Aircraft Carriers Are The Need Of The Hour For India | Explained
Narendra Modi commissions India's first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

The commissioning of India's first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, has led India to join the elite group of nations including the UK, Russia, France, and China, that are capable of designing and constructing indigenous aircraft carriers. It has strengthened the country's standing as a "Blue Water" navy—that is, a navy that has the capacity to show the nation's strength and power globally. INS Vikrant is set to be the seventh largest among the carriers of all carrier classes in the world.

The Carrier and its importance:

An aircraft carrier is needed to project the military force of a country. It encourages domination and adds to the military power of a country. All the world's powerful countries, the UK, US, Russia and Italy, operate aircraft carriers. There are significant reasons for countries' thriving on aircraft carriers.

Some of them are its capacity to operate for thousands of miles in the open ocean with its aircraft. Besides, the aircraft carried by these carriers can be launched very close to the shores of an adversary nation and can plunder the assets. In times of hostilities, an aircraft carrier can bring hundreds of stranded soldiers. It can be of great help during disaster scenarios for humanitarian operations.

Why are aircraft carriers are important for India?

Over the last few years, the top officers have been insisting on increasing the number of aircraft carriers in India. The demand for a third carrier has been high since the commissioning of the second carrier, which has been thirteen years since it started being built. The idea behind having three aircraft carriers is to have any two carriers at any given point in time if the third is unavailable. One of the most important reasons for India's need to have more aircraft carriers is to escape from the geopolitical challenge of China.

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies stated in a piece titled "China's Third Aircraft Carrier Takes Shape" that, "Recent commercial satellite imagery shows that China has made significant progress in the construction of its third aircraft carrier, known colloquially as the Type 003. The vessel is expected to become the largest surface combatant in the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and significantly improve China's naval capabilities".

The article conveys that this is the third carrier built by China. The carrier's overall length is approximately 315 metres, and its width is 74 metres. Liaoning and Shandong, its predecessors, both are 304.5 metres. Type 003 has been under construction at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai since at least late 2018. The carrier's overall length is approximately 315 metres, and its width at its widest point is 74 metres. Its predecessors, the Liaoning and Shandong, were both 304.5 metres long.

With countries strengthening their military power, it is time for India too to join the league of developed nations. It is also important to evade external interference and confrontations. All these things can be achieved only by making our forces more advanced and powerful.

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