INS Vikramaditya Current Affairs - 2019

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INS Vishal: India, UK in talks to replicate Naval Supercarrier

According to reports, India is in talks with the United Kingdom (UK) for building a new state-of-the-art aircraft carrier that would be replicate (copycat version) of Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier as part of ongoing ‘Make in India’ negotiations. It will be named ‘INS Vishal’ in 2022 and will become Indian Navy’s largest warship.

Key Highlights

  • As talks are underway for Indian Navy to buy detailed plans for British Warship, an Indian deputation have already paid a visit to Rosyth dockyard (in Scotland) where HMS Queen Elizabeth was assembled. Currently second supercarrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is being built there.
  • The design for UK aircraft carriers is owned by British and French aerospace giants BAE and Thales. They have begun discussion with India and proposed that carrier’s design can be modified to meet Indian Navy and local industry requirements.
  • Once agreed upon deal, the new warship would be built in India (under Make in India initiative) but UK companies could supply many of its parts.
  • The new Naval carrier would serve alongside India’s INS Vikramaditya (a 45,000-ton carrier which was bought from Russia in 2004) and INS Vikrant (a 40,000-ton carrier which is currently under-construction). This could give India a larger carrier fleet than Britain.
  • The India-UK Naval deal which is yet to fructify would follow sale of Britain’s Falklands War carrier HMS Hermes to India in 1987, which was later renamed INS Viraat (it was decommissioned in 2017).

HMS Queen Elizabeth

It is a 65,000-ton British warship. It is largest warships ever built for Royal Navy and is capable of carrying up to 60 aircraft (or up to 40 F-35B fighter). It was named in honour of Queen Elizabeth I.

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Varuna Naval Exercise 2019

India and France will conduct their largest ever naval exercise ‘Varuna’ off Goa coast early May.

Varuna 2019

  • India will deploy its aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya with its MiG-29K fighters and French side would be represented by its aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle with its Rafale-M naval jets.
  • The exercise will also see participation of FNS Forbin, the FNS Provence and the FNS Latouche Treville, a nuclear attack submarines, the FNS Amethyste, and the tanker FNS Marne from France and diesel-electric submarine INS Shankul, guided-missile destroyer INS Chennai, stealth frigate INS Tarkash and tanker INS Deepak, along with P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft and Dornier-228 planes from India.
  • Varuna is a top-level naval exercise, with intensive dual carrier task group operations and anti-submarine warfare manoeuvres.

India-France Defence Cooperation

India and France are working closely to implement their action-oriented joint strategic vision for cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), which was finalised in March 2018.

The Military Logistics Agreement with France which provides Indian Navy access to French bases located in the India ocean region including the Reunion Islands near Madagascar and Djibouti on the Horn of Africa and French navy access to Indian ports in the region is now operationalised with French anti-aircraft destroyer FNS Cassard docking at the Mumbai naval port.

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