‘Second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier got necessary impetus,’ says Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba
Detailing the service’s future plans, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said on Monday the case for the second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier or IAC-II has received the necessary impetus, although it was still at least a decade away. He said the carrier would have a displacement of 65,000 tonnes, conventional propulsion and would deploy the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) offered by the US.
Lanba added that this would ensure that India would have at least two carriers operating at any point and that the third carrier’s construction could begin within three years.
Lanba said submarine specific guidelines for building next-generation submarines in India under the government’s strategic partnership model would be released shortly. He said 32 warships and submarines were currently under construction in Indian shipyards, and the government has given its approval for an additional 56 warships and six submarines.
Commenting on a contract awarded to Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited to build offshore patrol vessels for the navy, Lanba said the order had not been cancelled but it was being looked at.
“RNEL is undergoing corporate debt restructuring and they have been taken to the court by their bankers…No preferential treatment is being given to RNEL. Their bank guarantees have been encashed by the navy, we have taken punitive action,” Lanba said.
Asked to compare India’s capabilities with the navies of China and Pakistan, he said, “As far as the Indian Navy is concerned, we have only one front. And that is the Indian Ocean. We have overwhelming superiority over Pakistan navy in all fields and domains. In the Indian Ocean region, the balance of power rests in our favour compared to China.”