India’s Navy Has a Problem: An Aircraft Carrier Shortage

    Zachary Keck

    Security, Asia

    Indian Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya (ex- Gorshkov) during her sea trials

    And it won’t get better anytime soon. 

    India’s second homegrown aircraft carrier is being further delayed, according to media reports.

    On July 9th, the trade publication IHS Jane’s reported that India will no longer commission its second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-2) in the 2030-2032 timeframe as it was previously scheduled to do.

    According to the report, the delay is “due to steadily declining budgets, technological hurdles, and, above all, enduring delays by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in approving the program.”

    Similarly, the local media outlet, Rediff News, reported on the same day that owing to declining budgets “national security planners are reluctant to green light crucial power projection platforms, notably India’s second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-2), which should have already been under construction to join the fleet by about 2030.”

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    It was not immediately clear when IAC-2 is now scheduled to be commissioned, or if a date has been set at all. Even if there is a target date it will remain extremely tentative until actual progress is seen.

    As both reports make clear, one of the major challenges involves funding. According to Rediff, the Indian Navy’s share of the military budget is 15.5 percent, down from 19 percent in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

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