India Invites Foreign Contractors to Help Build Advanced Carrier
08:46 18.07.2015(updated 10:50 18.07.2015)
The Indian Navy has reportedly sent requests for proposals to four potential foreign contractors to assist it in constructing a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier.
Contractors from Russia, the United States, France and Britain may take part in designing India's new 65,000 metric ton aircraft carrier, according to the US magazine Jane's Defense Weekly.
The relevant letters have already been sent by the Indian Navy to the BAE Systems in the UK, France's DCNS, Lockheed Martin in the US, and the Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.
Responses are expected by July 22, with potential contractors due to provide technical and costing proposals for the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-2 (IAC-2), which is likely to be named Vishal (Grand).
Plans for the construction of the Vikrant-class Vishal, touted as India's first supercarrier, were made public in the late 2000s. The vehicle is expected to be put into service by the Indian Navy in the second half of the 2020s.
The new carrier, which is set to be equipped with US-made electromagnetic catapults, will be capable of carrying heavier aircraft than the MiG-29K carrier-based multirole fighter jets that are currently on service at the Indian Navy.
As far as the first Vikrant-class carrier is concerned, it is due to enter service by 2020. Adding to its construction were companies from Italy and Russia, which both supplied aircraft and technical equipment for the vehicle.
The Indian Navy currently has two aircraft carriers: the British-built 29,000-tonne Viraat was the navy's flagship before the 43,000-tonne Vikramaditya was commissioned in 2013. The vehicle is a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier which served with the Soviet and later with the Russian Navies as the Admiral Gorshkov before being decommissioned in 1996.
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