Monday, May 30, 2022

India scouts for aircraft manufacturers through G2G route for 26 aircraft for INS Vikrant

INS Vikrant was launched with much fanfare last year, as it happened to be the first indigenous aircraft carrier to sail NSE 0.33 % with the Indian Navy. Currently, it is undergoing sea trials in Karwar near Gujarat. The Prime Minister will be commissioning this maiden aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy on the 15th of August 2022, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of India's independence.

The US manufacturer, Boeing, will be sending two F-18 Super Hornet fighters that are to be undergoing aerial trials onboard the INS Hansa. The pair of Hornets are to be ultimately considered the main fighting flying machines for INS Vikrant.

Dassault Aviation of France has also completed their trials with the Rafael-M fighter for Vikrant in Goa, and initial reports received says that the tests were successful. The Navy plans to presently deck INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya (2 aircraft carriers India owns) with MiG 29K aircraft for the time being. INS Vikramaditya, the largest carrier owned by India, has undergone various modifications and has been under intense sea trials to check its tenacity in modern warfare. INS Vikramaditya is of Russian make and was commissioned in 1987.

The aircraft, a total of 26 in number, must be received through a G2G deal (government to government). This idea is primarily to bolster the Atmanirbhar Bharat program, as the manufacturers are expected to construct the aircraft on Indian soil. Boeing and Dassault have their manufacturing plants in India and hence could be the current favourites to be selected. India's defence demands have been rising since 2014 after the Modi government came into power. The government's strategy has been to woo manufacturers to construct their factories and make their products in India.

30/05/22 Economic Times

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