The Indian Navy acquired the capability to conduct operations involving multiple aircraft carriers.
The Ministry of Defense of India reported this.
Exercises involving the INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant aircraft carriers started on June 1, with an air wing of 35 MiG-29К on board.
The equipment on board also includes MH60R, Kamov, Sea King, Chetak, and ALH helicopters.
Maneuvers took place in the Arabian Sea. Kolkata and Visakhapatnam project destroyers escorted the aircraft carriers. Additionally, the frigates of the Talwar project and the tanker of the Deepak project were accompanying the operation.
“This demonstration of naval prowess underscores India’s commitment to safeguarding its national interests, maintaining regional stability, and fostering cooperative partnerships in the maritime domain,” the Defence Ministry said.
Besides, the Ministry of Defense of India noted that the exercises should demonstrate to partners India’s determination and central role in maintaining peace in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The successful demonstration of two-carrier battle group operations serves as a powerful testament to the pivotal role of sea-based air power in maintaining maritime superiority. As India continues to strengthen its security apparatus, the significance of Aircraft Carriers will remain paramount in shaping the nation’s defense strategy and promoting regional stability,” the statement added.
Indian aircraft carriers
INS Vikramaditya is an aircraft carrier that was converted from the Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Gorshkov Kiev-class aircraft carrier, launched back in 1982. It was manufactured at the Black Sea Shipyard in Mykolaiv.
The agreement between the authorities of India and Russia on the purchase of the Gorshkov aircraft carrier was concluded back in the 90s, and the conversion took place at the enterprises of Sevmash JSC PO in Severodvinsk.
The first trials, which took place on June 8, 2012, were extremely unsuccessful: the power plant failed due to the destruction of the thermal insulation of four boilers. As a result, major repairs to the entire ship’s propulsion system were needed.
The second tests, conducted between July 3 and September 20, 2013, were successful.
The carrier cruiser left Severodvinsk on November 26, 2013, and arrived in Lisbon on December 16. On January 8, 2014, INS Vikramaditya arrived in India.
The air group consists of 14 to 16 MiG-29К fighter jets, 4 MiG-29KUBs, up to 8 Ка-28 helicopters, 1 Ка-31 helicopter, and up to 3 HAL Dhruv helicopter.
The aircraft carrier is planned to be in service until 2030.
INS Vikrant is an Indian Cochin Shipyard Ltd shipyard-built aircraft carrier that started working on in 1999. Its keel was laid out in 2009.
The carrier was withdrawn from dry dock in December 2011 and launched in August 2013. Its sea trials started in August 2021. The commissioning ceremony took place on September 2, 2022.
Rafale M and F/A-18E/F are planned to be used in addition to MiG-29К. Research on the possibility of landing these aircraft on the carrier deck has begun at Hansa Air Base.