The US Naval engineers who inspected India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikranthave found it as non-operational for up to decade.
They found the carrier with shortcomings like lacking at least small missile system to defend itself, a limited ability to launch sorties and no defined strategy for how to use the ship in combat.
The Naval engineers inspected the aircraft carrier in February at the port of Kochi, expecting it to be battle-ready ship set to help counter China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean but found that it cannot be operational.
The inspection was part of US plans to share aircraft carrier technology with India. In August, both the countries had signed a military agreement sharing logistics. The US has also approved proposals by Lockheed Martin and Boeing Co. to make advanced jet fighters in India.
“China’s navy will be the biggest in the world soon, and they’re definitely eyeing the Indian Ocean with ports planned in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh,” retired Admiral Arun Prakash, the former commander of India’s navy was quoted as saying by The Wall Street Journal Wednesday.
The emerging relationship between India and US naval has given way to new dynamics to Asia’s geopolitical terrain, with China having diplomatic issues with the joint exercises.
US is concerned about India’s military strategy. “There have been severe delays on the part of New Delhi in modernising its carriers, jet fighters and nuclear submarines.” Experts said. Some serious faults have been found in India’s first homemade carrier, INS Vikrant. Its gearboxes, construction, design and jet launching system has fallen short of expectations.
However, the US Navy still has hopes on India’s second homemade carrier which promises advanced technologies.