February 5, 2023

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New Delhi launches its first “Made in India” aircraft carrier

A leading regional military player, India has now demonstrated its willingness to further raise the flag of its maritime ambitions. On Friday, September 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did his country proud by launching the first fully “Made in India” aircraft carrier from the Cochin (south-west) shipyard. “Joins the league of few countries that can build aircraft carriers of this size in their own country”.

For the Prime Minister of a country that is set to become more populous than China by 2023, Vikrant Mark a “Milestone” Towards a more assertive autonomy for India in terms of its maritime planning capability. New Delhi certainly has its sights set on a larger Chinese rival, with which competition is not only demographic but above all military and geopolitical.

Also read Le Monde (June 2020) editorial: China-India: A Clash of Nationalisms

The Vikrant (“brave”, in Sanskrit) 262 meters, a building of about forty thousand tons – i.e. the equivalent of Charles de Gaulle. It can accommodate 1,600 personnel and can carry about 30 aircraft, including the Indian Air Force’s Russian MIG-29K. Named after India’s first aircraft carrier that participated in the 1971 India-Pakistan conflict, the ship enters the fleet.

Indo-Pacific, “absolute priority”

New Delhi already has another aircraft carrier VikramadityaBut this is a ship of Soviet origin, bought in 2004. At a cost of $3 billion (mostly in Euros), the Indian Navy’s new flagship has been officially launched after seventeen years of construction and several trials. Incessant delays, the latest due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The Indian Navy’s move against the backdrop of a new strategic alliance in the Indo-Pacific is marked by a realignment of alliances and the emergence of China. “Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean security issues have been overlooked in the past, but are our priority today”, as the Prime Minister underlined in his speech at Kochi, the sailor’s cap was screwed to the skull. Mr Modi also promised to increase the budget for the expanding navy.

Captain Gurpreet S., an officer and professor at the Naval War College, Goa. According to the Qur’an, the latter “It plans to grow from its current strength of 137 ships to 170 ships by 2027. This includes three aircraft carriers, two of which will be built indigenously.” “With self-reliance as a national priority, India has developed a very strong building construction industry”The official announced in an interview with a French newspaper in May Defense and National Security.

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