Thursday, October 25, 2018

Will the Indian Navy go for the 5th Generation fighters for its aircraft Carrier?

With the projected delivery of the indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) by the Cochin Shipyard where the IAC is being fitted out, scheduled for 2023, the Indian Navy could be eyeing the fifth generation aircraft for it.

Speaking to FE Online on condition of anonymity, a senior officer said that, “By the time the Aircraft carrier is commissioned in the service, worldwide the navies would be flying the fifth generation fighter and not the fourth generation platforms like Boeing’s F-18, the French Rafale or the Swedish Gripen.”

Four vendors including the Dassault Aviation of France `Rafale’, US based Boeing Company’s F-18 Super Hornet, Swedish SAAB’s ` Gripen’ and MiG-29 K of Russia, all responded to the RfI that was sent last year for the 57 aircraft for the Navy. The Indian Navy is already having operational issues due to defects in engines, airframe and fly-by-wire system with the Russian MiG 29 K.

By the time the IAC comes, the US will be going to the 5th generation single engine F-35 A, F-35 B and F-35c versions from the Lockheed Martin for its air force, marines, and navy respectively in the future.

Compared to other navies globally, the US Navy, the Royal Navy, the French, Russian and now even the Chinese PLA-N have fighter fleets built around aircraft carriers, as that helps them to project their power over long-distance from their home bases.

Inking of the COMCASA agreement at the end of the first ever 2+2 India-US Strategic Dialogue, the sale of these machines are not ruled out.
25/10/18 Huma Siddiqui/Financial Express
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