Indigenous Firepower for the Indian Navy! IAC Vikrant will go live next month
On Sunday, the Indian Navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1) successfully completed its 4th phase of sea trials.
Testing that ended on July 10, 2022 focused on on-board equipment and systems, including some equipment in the aviation facilities complex.
According to an official statement, the plan is to deliver the IAC-1 by the end of this month. And commissioning is scheduled for August to commemorate 75 years of Indian independence.
Learn more about the IAC-1
The vessel is indigenous and was designed and built by the Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL). As part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the vessel contains almost 76% indigenous content, including the steel that was used. With this construction at CSL, employment opportunities have been generated for more than 2,000 site employees as well as for more than 12,000 employees in ancillary industries. It also allowed the world to show the enormous growth in indigenous design and construction capabilities of building such a large and wide aircraft carrier.
Read also | Indian Navy to receive first-ever indigenous aircraft carrier IAC-1 Vikrant next year
As reported in Financial Express Online last year, the first IAC trials were successfully completed in August, followed by the second and third phases of sea trials last October and earlier this year in January.
And the three sea trials tested the endurance of the propulsion machinery; ship’s navigation and communication systems; electrical and electronic suites; lifesaving apparatus; and deck machinery.
Read also | Will it be the F/A-18 or the Rafale M for the Indian Navy?
Deck-based fighters for the IAC-1
Once the trials are completed and the IAC-1 enters service with the Indian Navy next month, the process of evaluating the fighters on board will soon begin.
Indian Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral SN Ghormade last week told the media that the assessment report of the recent demonstrations of the two different deck-based fighter jets for aircraft carriers was awaited. shortly. “Once the initial report is received, the staff assessment will take place, followed by other procedures before a decision is made.”
According to senior Indian Navy officers, the decision to procure the fighter jets for the IAC is still a long way to go.
Which two aerospace companies are in the race for deck-based fighters?
As previously reported, the Rafale Marine from France from Dassault Aviations and the two-seater F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets from the American aerospace company Boeing.
The Indian Navy will initially procure 26 fighters for its two aircraft carriers.
What is the procedure followed for the acquisition of critical platforms?
Explaining the process to Financial Express Online, Cdr KP Sanjeev Kumar (Retd), a former naval aviator and experimental test pilot, says: “The procedure begins with the formulation of personnel requirements after a Request for In-Depth Information (RfI) and internal confabulations.
According to him, “The next step is the issuance of a Request for Proposal (RfP). Followed by a technical evaluation of responses; Field Evaluation Trials (FET); personnel evaluation; and finally, opening of bids. to determine L1. Once bids are opened to identify the L1, this is then followed by cost and contract negotiations.”
Why deck-based fighter jets?
“As long as we are operating carriers, deck based fighters would be required. The Indian Navy’s forward plans include one carrier on each coast and one being refitted. These would require far more DBFs than we don’t have any today (two squadrons of MiG-29k),” says Cdr KP Sanjeev Kumar (retired), experimental test pilot.
What are the challenges?
“Deck-based operations always involve a huge design challenge due to the limited space and landing/take-off runway available on board. This affects the payload which may require two engines to meet specific requirements payload and performance. These are again based on personnel requirements and carrier size. Not all Deck Based Fighters (DBFs) are twin-engine, and not all carriers are the same,” he adds.