INS Vikramaditya Current Affairs - 2020

India deploys INS Vikramaditya amidst Sea Guardians-The China-Pakistan naval drill

On January 6, 2020, China and Pakistan had launched a naval drill in North Arabian Sea called the Sea Guardians. The aim of the drill is to increase inter-operability between the two navies. On January 10, 2020, India deployed its INS Vikramaditya in North Arabian Sea where the exercise is being held.

Highlights

China and Pakistan launched a nine-day mega naval exercise. The Exercise Sea Guardians is taking place when there are heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue.

Significance of deployment of INS VIkramaditya

In September 2019, Indian Navy drove out a Chinese PLA in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone and warned that such activities will be dealt sternly. Also, China has been increasing its presence in the region lately. China has built a naval base in Djibouti in Horn of Africa from where Arabian Sea provides entry to Indian Ocean. Also, China is developing Pakistan’s Gwadar port, thereby increasing its presence in North Arabian Sea.

Therefore, it is essential for India to give signals to its neighbours that it is cautiously watching their activities. Also,India wants to make sure the maritime delimitation is well maintained.

Why INS Vikramaditya?

Apart from all other ships, INS Vikramaditya is one of the top-rated aircraft carriers globally. It was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2013. It is about 284 metres long, 60 m high. It has a total of 22 decks. It can carry 30 aircrafts that includes Chetak helicopter, MiG 29K, Kamov 28, ALH-Dhruv, etc.

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.