Sunday, June 10, 2012


India's aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya sails for the first time (June 8, The Hindu) for pre-delivery trials, out of Sevmash shipyard in Russia. The most important part of the trials is testing aircraft takeoff and landing; test flights will be MiG-29K and MiG-35 aircraft flown by Russian pilots.

From a strictly doctrinal point of view, this makes India officially the world's third largest navy - but remember what it means to be American: if you can't win the game, change the rules. Domestically-initiated hypersonic and space-based weapon platforms will negate naval power projection within 20yrs.



  1. There comes a point where weapons alone won't win a conflict and a nation needs to have superior values and superior culture and superior commitment to those values and culture in order to survive. An entitlement mentality on the economy is also an invitation for disaster in a conflict - what next? We "deserve to win"? I'd say we're headed towards a world war with nukes at some point if things keep going the way they are. If I was to invoke scripture with a falling star from heaven that took 1/3 of the world's inhabitants, I might say China's the one that gets nuked - but that all remains to be seen. Just something I think about. Go Navy!

  2. Looks beautiful for a 30 year old conversion. It's great that they could rally the funds for 35 year old arcraft too. =0)

    Joking aside, as you say, the future of naval warfare is unpredictable. In exercises, well-protected nato capital ships are "sunk" on a regular basis using 20+ year-old DE submarines.

    All the best,


    1. Is India going to have a carrier group supporting this ship? Or is it just going to sail circles around the Indian ocean until some 'Chicken of the Sea' accident causes it to sit in port?

    2. Of course they'll have escorts deployed to protect the flagship.

      This isn't such a big deal. Inja has been operating a carrier for many years, but they have it just for show. They don't have much that's state of the art, but it's enough to make their immediate neighbour to the west worried.

  3. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars States Parties to the Treaty from placing nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction in orbit of Earth, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or to otherwise station them in outer space. FallshirmJager

  4. India,China and Iran are all headed in this direction, but they are nearly a century behind the US and are obsolete already. None of them have the expertise, technology or supporting forces necessary for a carrier battle group. Further, we learned how with propeller-driven aircraft. Learning carrier ops with supersonic jet aircraft just sounds like a bad idea.

    1. Deekaman,

      The Royal Navy learned gunnery and dominated. They basically set up the Japanese navy. The Royal Navy was also at the forefront of carrier development, but in the end the East Indies fleet was sunk by an enemy with superior tactical and strategic understanding. 25 years before the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, the British were actually building Japan's ships, such as the Kongo, because they didn't have the capability.

      The military world is now "systems" based and given the dependence of foreign chip and software manufacture in critical systems, it is not impossible to imagine Stuxnet-type sabotage being implanted in an American fleet's systems somehow.

  5. I really doubt the Indians are thinking about tangling with the US with this purchase. Not anytime soon, anyway. They probably are thinking about tangling with China, with whom they have a long and disputed border, and with whom they've fought (and lost to) before. China's resource-hungry economy has turned to Africa for food and raw materials. Everything China imports from Africa, however, has to come through the Indian Ocean. (Yeah, they could go the other way around, but that adds considerable time and expense.)

    Plus, Russia is likely to get dragged into any fight between India and China. Being a good customer only helps solidify the relationship between India and Russia. Though at this point, Russia looks like it would be happiest sitting back and selling arms to both sides.

  6. I still think that, since we wanted to sell F-18's to India and get closer relations, we should have offered them a deal on the Kitty Hawk. Buy a couple of air wings, and we'll throw in a carrier.

  7. friends:

    this boat is not all that much to get worked up about.

    like similar boats, it probably is not gonna be registered as a carrier, but possibly a missile frigate or some such.

    the article doesn't say, but i am assuming that she is steam powered by conventional boilers, and not a nuke.

    and, she doesn't appear very big, unless they make very large tug boats and loiters in this particular harbor.

    and, i doubt she will carry much by way of planes, given the extremely small deck and limited room for elevators and the like to bring them from below deck for launching.

    it is not, therefore, a craft that is designed or anticipated ever to be used for strategic purposes against the u.s. navy. more than likely, as noted by several of the commentators above it is anticipated to be of use against india's traditional enemies in the area, to include china.

    like the soviet and chinese versions of the craft, quite likely with the jump deck it is designed for jump jets/stol type craft, and if the soviet and chinese examples control the realities of things, those jets that do come off the deck if armed are going to have restricted fuel supplies and weapons stores because of the weight limitations that must be observed to get the plane in the air.

    john jay
    milton freewater, oregon usa

    p.s. giant oaks from little acorns grow. traditions & training start somewhere. my guess is, when the indians get a handle on how to conduct flight operations at sea, that they will advance to something bigger.

    whether they get into the business of strategic projection of power with carrier groups is anyone's guess.

    anyone reading indian naval war college papers in order to discern what the indian thinking on this subject is.

    btw, putting the ships con in the middle of the flight deck is probably not the best way to build a flight deck.

    my guess is, she won't carry much more than 10 or 12 aircraft, maybe 3 or 4 of which will be high performance. she just isn't big enough to do to much.

    and, she won't have too much capability to be at see, and she won't go very far. she's a puddle jumper to train officers and pilots to learn naval air warfare, and a beginning.

    plus, i bet she got the boat pretty cheap.

  8. p.s. correction. "... to be at sea." sheesh.

  9. India's INS vikramaditya is really a powerful gem for Indian Navy, was really felt happy when it was included into the navy in Jan'14. Indians must be proud of INS Vikramaditya which is equipped with 234 new hull sections constructed using 2,500t of steel. It has an overall length of 284m, a maximum beam of 60m, height of about 60m and a displacement of 44,500t. Go Indian Navy Go ... I hope Indian Navy will get more these kind of Aircraft carriers in coming Future ....