Indian Navy's Second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Proposal Gains Traction; Defence Acquisition Council To Take It Up Tomorrow

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Nov 29, 2023, 11:53 AM | Updated 11:53 AM IST

India's first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant. (Indian Navy)
India's first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant. (Indian Navy)

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to approve the Navy's proposal to build a second indigenous aircraft carrier, estimated to cost around Rs 40,000 crore.

This decision comes amid rising concerns about China's increasing presence in the Indian Ocean region (IOR).

According to a report by PTI, the Defence Procurement Board (DPB), has given preliminary approval to this proposal. This move signals the government's commitment to the development of the second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-2).

This major procurement proposal is set to be presented to the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the ministry's highest body for procurement matters.

The DAC, led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, is expected to convene on Thursday (30 November) to review the IAC-2 proposal.

In addition, the DAC is likely to discuss the Indian Air Force's (IAF) request to acquire an additional 97 Tejas Mark-1A jets, estimated to cost Rs 1.15 lakh crore.

The Navy has been advocating for the 45,000-tonne IAC-2, which is projected to cost nearly Rs 40,000 crore.

India's first home-built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant (IAC-1), was commissioned in September by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Constructed at a cost of about Rs 23,000 crore, INS Vikrant is equipped with advanced air defence systems and anti-ship missiles.

With a capacity to house 30 fighter jets and helicopters, the INS Vikrant features over 2,300 compartments, designed for approximately 1700 crew members, including specific accommodations for women officers.

Officials mentioned that the IAC-2 will mirror the IAC-1 in design and will be constructed by the Cochin Shipyard. The Navy's goal for three aircraft carriers aims to counter China's increasing naval power and its influence in the Indian Ocean.

Currently, India operates two aircraft carriers — the Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant.

It is capable of a top speed of 28 knots and a cruising speed of 18 knots, and can travel up to 7,500 nautical miles. The IAC-1 measures 262 metres in length, 62 metres in width, and stands 59 metres high.

The Indian Navy has also ordered 26 Rafale-M fighter jets worth €5.5 billion from France, which will be operated from INS Vikrant.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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