NEW DELHI: With the first successful sea trial of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC1), to be named INS Vikrant once it joins the Indian Navy in a year or so, India has entered the exclusive group of countries capable of designing and building aircraft carriers from scratch. In the maritime domain, aircraft carriers hold a position of pre-eminence amongst warships and are thus considered the pinnacle of warship design and construction for any Navy. Aircraft carriers are also the most visible sign of a Navy’s capability, resolve and stature. Design and construction of aircraft carriers, because of their scale, complexities and legacy experience is considered immensely challenging.
An aircraft carrier is a mini floating ‘airbase’ at sea which sets it apart from other warships in terms of operations, reach and complexities. The business of designing and constructing a warship is a daunting task. Confronted with a compelling need for effective tactical power at sea and the reality of constrained fiscal resources, warship design is a long iterative process to strike a balance between the two. Unlike commercial ships, a warship, in addition to float and move, has to perform the ‘fight’ role in a hostile sea environment. Aircraft carrier design adds another element of aviation to this complex process requiring facilities for launch and recovery of a combat aircraft, which present enormous complexities....Read More
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