The INS Vikrant: India's First Aircraft Carrier
Two nations coming into the age of being superpowers for their region, India and China, have both launched their first aircraft carriers to roam the ocean. For India, who has little interest in domination and conquering, its new carrier is to have its presence known in the Indian Ocean. The Chinese carrier is more for showing of power and to put others on notice that China is the next superpower and will project its navy into the pacific.
The Vikrant is 860 feet long with a crew of 1600, top speed of 28 knots and is armed with up to 35 MiG-29 fighters. The ship is over 36,000 tons. The unique thing about the ship is that it was built and designed in India, unlike the Chinese carrier which they bought from Russia in 1998 as an empty hull. The Vikrant has a abut 2,5 acres of landing area and is powered by four GE turbine engines
Actually, this is India's second carrier by the same name, In 1957, they bought from the British, the carrier Vikrant and then relaunched it in 1961. It was a WW2 era carrier that was finally decommissioned in 1997. Prior to it being called Vikrant, it was called HMS Hercules.
The design of the carrier suggests a strong Russian style of ship design, in fact, change the names and it could be the Liaoning. Compared to the Liaoning, the Vikrant is about 150 feet shorter, has 1000 less crew, is slower and has 10 less aircraft. When compared to the US Nimitz, the Vikrant is 200 ft. shorter, and has 40 less aircraft than the Nimitz.
China and India are cordial friends, but they try to avoid one another. China commented that the new carrier is really made with international components, which is a backhanded slap at the Indian claim it was all Indian. They also dismissed the notion that the carrier poses even the slightest threat to Chinese interests unless it enters the Pacific. India is nervous about China because they see them expanding into Pakistan by helping them build a port for Chinese ships to visit and China has been frequently seen in India's ocean.
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