The Navy has asked nine Indian shipyards to respond by July 21 to a potential tender for building the country’s largest warship, the second indigenous aircraft carrier or IAC-2.
Expression of intent has been sought from Mazagon Dock Limited, Hindustan Shipyard Limited, Cochin Shipyard Limited, Goa Shipyard Limited, Garden Reach Shipbuilder and Engineers and private sector yards Pipavav, Larsen & Toubro, ABG and Bharti, a navy officer said on Friday.
But not all are likely to respond as building a 65,000-tonne carrier is quite complex. The IAC-II will use the catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) system for launching and recovery of aircraft. The navy officer said “latest launch systems” could also be considered, hinting at a US technology of offer.
India and the US have set up a working group to explore carrier technology. The US has offered the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS), developed by General Atomics, to expand the operational capability of the IAC-2. The Gerald R Ford, to be commissioned into the US Navy next year, will be the world’s first carrier to use the EMALS.
The IAC-2 (to be named Vishal), which will carry up to 50 aircraft, follows the 40,000-tonne IAC-1(Vikrant) being built at the Cochin Shipyard and scheduled for induction in 2018-19. India will be the fifth country to have designed and built aircraft carriers of this size.