Last week, a Russian delegation visiting New Delhi offered the Indian Navy Russia’s latest supercarrier design. Named Project 23000E Storm (or “Shtorm” as they pronounce it), the super carrier was offered to Indian Navy for purchase. The “E” in its name stands for export-oriented or Eksportny.
This comes at the same time when India is planning to build its second home-grown aircraft carrier, INS Vishal, which will be nuclear-powered, 300 meters long, 70 meters wide and displace 65,000 tons. It is India’s most ambitious defence project being built.
Here are some key points of this advancement:
- The Russian supercarrier design has a displacement of 1,00,000 tons, is 330 meters long and 40 meters wide, and has a draft of 11 meters.
- Powered by either conventional or a nuclear propulsion, the ship can remain at sea for 120 days and sail up to 30 knots (around 55 kmph).
- It can also accommodate a crew of up to 5,000 and can carry 80-90 deck-based aircraft.
- Krylov State Research Center (KSRC), a Russian shipbuilding research and development institute, is designing the carrier.
- India is still expected to officially announce a procurement tender for this heavy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier as it is planning to induct the new aircraft carrier in the late 2020s.
- The US, meanwhile, has offered the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) to India, which does not include nuclear propulsion technology and is unavailable for the Russian carrier.
- EMALS is a major attraction because it is flexible and allows a variety of aircraft to come on the deck including the lighter, homemade light combat aircraft and heavy fighter aircraft.
- India is still to decide whether to buy the carrier from Russia or manufacture locally with America’s help.
What do you think, should India accept Russia’s sale offer or should it build a carrier indigenously? Comment and let us know.