Upcoming Sea Trials for India's New Carrier

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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post05 Jun 2012, 10:44

India is set to take delivery of their first STOBAR carrier this year. That is, if the Russians who are building it for them don't incur further delays in the project. INS Vikramaditya is actually the former Admiral Gorshkov, a Soviet-era sea-control ship of the Kiev-class that saw less than 10 years of service prior to being put up for sale in 1996. The original price-quote for sale and conversion from STOVL to STOBAR deck arrangement was $947 million, which has since ballooned to $2.3 billion.

While not as much of a bargain as originally hoped, the new vessel will give the Indian Navy the ability to operate supersonic, fixed-wing fighter aircraft off a sea-based platform for the first time. This capability should come online about the same time as it will for the Chinese Navy, perhaps even earlier as the Indians already have the infrastructure, training, and aircraft in place to begin operations.

The Indians have opted for a derivative of the Mig-29 to fly from their new ship, unlike the Russians and Chinese who chose versions of the Su-27 (though Russia plans to switch to the Migs as well later). Vikramaditya may also embark a navalized version of the Tejas light fighter as well, though the division of roles between the two aircraft is as yet unknown to the author.

Here's the latest news I could find. http://brahmand.com/news/Sea-trial-of-I ... /1/13.html
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stereospace

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Unread post08 Jun 2012, 16:49

I was fascinated with the photos of those ballistic missile sized antiship cruise missiles mounted on the deck of the Kiev carriers. Liquid fueled too! I wonder if they sat there on deck armed and fueled or were the launchers usually empty?

I wonder what role this will fill for India? I think of carriers as power-projection ships. Where does India see itself projecting power? If I had to guess, I would say Pakistan. Putting a carrier off their coast vastly complicates Pakistan's defense problem in the event of a war.

I don't see this as particularly effective against the Chinese since I believe Chinese subs would have it on the bottom in a few hours or days.
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Unread post09 Jun 2012, 05:44

stereospace wrote:I was fascinated with the photos of those ballistic missile sized antiship cruise missiles mounted on the deck of the Kiev carriers. Liquid fueled too! I wonder if they sat there on deck armed and fueled or were the launchers usually empty?

I wonder what role this will fill for India? I think of carriers as power-projection ships. Where does India see itself projecting power? If I had to guess, I would say Pakistan. Putting a carrier off their coast vastly complicates Pakistan's defense problem in the event of a war.

I don't see this as particularly effective against the Chinese since I believe Chinese subs would have it on the bottom in a few hours or days.


I wouldn't know about how they handled the P-500, but I do know that the Russians continued to use liquid fuels in a number of missile types long after the west moved on to solid fuel. My understanding is that hypergolic propellant doesn't like water very much, but that didn't stop the Russians from putting it on their ships and submarines.

As for power projection, STOBAR carriers aren't very well suited for the strike role as the lack of a catapult limits aircraft payload on takeoff. All Soviet carriers were built with sea-control in mind, meaning that the carrier is there to protect the rest of the task force rather than the other way around as it is in our navy. I'm not sure how the Indians intend to employ the Vikramaditya, but I doubt they will be parking it off the Pakistani coast to get picked off by an SSK. The Chinese will have the same issues with their STOBAR carrier as well, but I suspect that both countries have built these ships as much for prestige as for new capability.

The danger posed by submarines is ever present, no matter who's carriers we're talking about; I believe a US admiral (don't remember who or when) once testified before Congress that American carriers would last about 4 days in an all-out war.

BTW, sea trials have started. http://www.thehindu.com/news/internatio ... ?css=print
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post25 Sep 2012, 05:43

Well, it seems that the thing done blowed-up on 'em when they ran it up to full power, delaying the project another year.

http://www.hrana.org/news.asp#IndiasRussianCarrier

I was thinking though...
The USS KITTY HAWK is being held in ready reserve until 2015. The US is pulling out of Afghanistan in 2014, after which there will no longer be any reason to pander to our back-stabbing Pakistani "allies" (who've already let it be known that they're China's boy). What better way to send a message to China/Pakistan and pry India away from Russia than by selling India a workable carrier for the token price of $1.00?

Now, now... I know. It's over 50 years old and in poor shape by our standards, but it's gotta be in better condition than the Russian tub was. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BRnsZKN2FU Wow that was bad. The KH would at least be seaworthy and repairable by the Indians themselves; and by 2015, the they will doubtless be thoroughly sick of their Russian junk (if it's even finished by then). Hell, we might even get a few Superhornet orders out of the deal (though I suspect the Rafale would be their choice).

Anyways, that's my crazy idea for the day.
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muir

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Unread post30 Sep 2012, 00:39

I know I read a magazine article arguing in much the same way back when the Kitty Hawk was about to be pulled of active duty. Part of the idea was that it would be a massive boost for the Hornets chances in the fighter contest too.
That last part is probably off the table this late in the game but it would still be beneficial for everyone involved as far as I can tell.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post30 Sep 2012, 01:12

muir wrote:I know I read a magazine article arguing in much the same way back when the Kitty Hawk was about to be pulled of active duty. Part of the idea was that it would be a massive boost for the Hornets chances in the fighter contest too.
That last part is probably off the table this late in the game but it would still be beneficial for everyone involved as far as I can tell.


The only way such a deal could accomplish the above mentioned goals is if no strings are attached. As far as I'm concerned, using the carrier to leverage Superhornet orders should be forgotten about. Let the Indians do whatever they want. RafaleM would be convenient since the land version is already being purchased; but for all I care, the Indians could bodge a ramp onto the front and use the Mig-29s they've already bought (that still leaves 2 waist launchers if needed).
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Unread post01 Oct 2012, 07:09

Well, it seems that the thing done blowed-up on 'em when they ran it up to full power, delaying the project another year.


Some real hollering going on about that. There's a heat issue -- possibly because India is requiring firebricks rather than asbestos.

However, there were also accusations (hotly denied ) that defective Chinese firebricks were used causing the issue.

Just an interesting little sidepoint I found at Rianovosti.com
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Unread post02 Oct 2012, 01:28

ford2go wrote:
Well, it seems that the thing done blowed-up on 'em when they ran it up to full power, delaying the project another year.


Some real hollering going on about that. There's a heat issue -- possibly because India is requiring firebricks rather than asbestos.

However, there were also accusations (hotly denied ) that defective Chinese firebricks were used causing the issue.

Just an interesting little sidepoint I found at Rianovosti.com


I am aware of those issues, both of which strike me as cop-outs on the Russian's part. They designed the ship; they they had it in their shipyard. I highly doubt anyone told them directly to "use firebrick here." All the Indians said was "no asbestos." It was the Russians' job to figure out how to do it; that's what they're being paid for, and they blew it.
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muir

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Unread post03 Oct 2012, 18:38

1st503rdsgt

As far as I remember the argument went something like. The US navy don't need it, they'd save money even if they gave it away. The Indian navy would get an operational carrier quicker that would be more capable than the one they were paying dearly for. It could potentially tie the two navies closer together and would make joint operations easier. The fact that it was already operating Superbugs couldn't work against that bird in the competition that was then in sway.

Something like that. The conclusion was something along the lines.. "Best case scenario, Boeing gets to sell some SuperHornets, we improve our relationship with India and give them leverage over russia. The chances of India buying american in the future improves. Worst case, all of the above except Boeing don't get to sell some aircraft now." I'm paraphrasing here but you get the gist of it I presume.
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Unread post04 Oct 2012, 01:40

muir,

That was 2008. I'm talking about 2014-2015. What I have in mind is more of a goodwill gesture without any possible connections to a major defense deal.

Of course, like I said, it's a crazy idea that's dependant on: (1) India's dissatisfaction with the Russian tub and (2) India having the wherewithal to operate/maintain a full-on supercarrier (not exactly a given). If such a deal were to work, the Indians would have to be willing to take the KH as-is into their custody as soon as the propulsion plant could be made ready (hopefully a minor expense which we would pay for)... no sitting around in an American shipyard for a big-ticket refurbishment (too many bad memories); any necessary repairs would have to be made in India by Indians. Then, and only then, would we see if India wants to do more business with us.
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