The Indian Navy’s plan to have a bigger indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC II) has been put on hold and the option of a repeat order of the recently commissioned IAC I (INS Vikrant) is being contemplated.
Currently, the Indian Navy has two aircraft carriers – INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant in its inventory. But, INS Vikrant is yet to get operationalized in the waters.
This is already circling around India media since yesterday. Indian Navy Chief stating they are leaning on ordering second IAC1 design (current Vikrant) then rather proceed with IAC2. IAC2 supposedly this 50% bigger CATOBAR carrier.
The way I see this article seems Indian Navy think:
1. IAC1 already available working design, it is STOBAR thus provide commonality in operation environment with their current 2 carriers.
2. The cost of building and operating second IAC1 will be much more manageable then IAC2.
3. They are rather goes with building proven design, rather then 'gamble' on new design. Considering Vikrant time table actually streching to 18 years, and Indian historically protrected time table on developing new design, I can see why Indian navy prefer to goes ahead with second IAC1.
This does not mean they are stoping developing IAC2 design, but rather Indian Navy talk to their Industry, to mature the design and industrial expertise. While the Navy will go with proven design to shorten the time need.
Also I do sense in some of Navy comment on making pure indegenous capabilities, some concern to relies on US EMALS catapults if they go CATOBAR. Unlike China which goes CATOBAR with their own EMALS. Perhaps India feels at least with STOBAR they are not has to relies to any potential US political whims in future. In sense more Indian independent carrier policies.