Revealing that India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier will be ready by 2020-end, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba also said on Friday that the “form and fit” of the second indigenous carrier with a conventional propulsion has been finalised.
“The (project of) indigenous aircraft carrier is progressing well and the ship will join the Navy by the end of 2020,” Admiral Lanba said at an annual press conference of the Indian Navy held ahead of the Navy Day on December 4.
He said that the process to buy 57 fighter aircraft to operate from an aircraft carrier had been started.
About the planned second aircraft carrier, the Navy chief said it will be around 65,000-tonnes vessel.
“We have analysed it, and fixed the form and fit. It is going to be about 65,000 tonnes. It will have catapult-assisted take-off and arrestor recovery.
“It will be conventionally powered and we are going through the process of taking it to the (Defence) Ministry,” he added.
As for carrier-borne fighter jets, the Navy chief said a Request for Information was issued and the Navy had received a response from four vendors. He said a RFP (Request for Proposal) would “hopefully” be issued by mid-2018.
Admiral Lanba said the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is not yet capable of operating from a ship, adding that the Navy remains committed to the project and will induct the fighter jet’s naval version when it is ready.
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