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India to Construct At Least Five Aircraft Carriers Amid Growing Role in Indian Ocean

© AP Photo / Saurabh DasIndian aircraft carrier Vikramaditya
Indian aircraft carrier Vikramaditya - Sputnik India, 1920, 15.05.2024
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According to Indian naval experts, the Indian Navy is the first responder in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Hence, it would require more firepower, which would largely come from carrier battle groups.
India is set to construct at least five aircraft carriers amid its growing maritime role in the Indian Ocean Region, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.
Singh also confirmed that the South Asian nation will soon start the production of a third aircraft carrier - a long-pending demand of the Indian Navy.
"We will not stop at that (three carriers). We will make five, six more," the Indian Defense Minister told media outlet Tribune.
Last year, a Parliamentary Committee specializing in defense backed the Navy's proposal to induct a third aircraft carrier in its fleet.
At present, India has two operational aircraft carriers. While the 45,000-tonne INS Vikramaditya was acquired from Russia in 2013, the 44,000-tonne indigenous INS Vikrant was inducted into service in 2022.
The Indian Navy has set a 2035 deadline to become a 175-warship force and having a minimum of three aircraft carriers operational at all times is its priority.
Earlier this year, an Indian Navy veteran, captain sarabjeet parmar explained why the world's largest democratic state's blue water force required an aircraft carrier.
"At the present rate, two aircraft carriers are considered a little too less because the Indian Navy's responsibilities are spreading wide, and a third and perhaps even more aircraft carriers are needed because what a carrier can provide no other modern ship can offer," Parmar told Sputnik India in March.
"So as the responsibility increases, as India grows as a maritime power, and as it keeps on fulfilling its role of the first responder, it needs to have a balanced force encompassing all this. Hence, the third aircraft carrier is a necessity at present for India and it may require four or five aircraft carriers, subsequently as and when the need arises," he concluded.
ndian aircraft carrier Vikramaditya is photographed in the foreground during the final rehearsal of International Fleet review in Vishakapatnam, India, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 30.04.2024
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