Aircraft Carrier Alliance: Will Britain Build India a New Queen Elizabeth-Class Carrier?

Michael Peck

Michael Peck

Security,

British defense contractor BAE Systems is offering a Queen Elizabeth-class design as a contender for India’s third aircraft carrier, which will be built in India.

Aircraft Carrier Alliance: Will Britain Build India a New Queen Elizabeth-Class Carrier?

Will India’s next aircraft carrier be a British design?

British defense contractor BAE Systems is offering a Queen Elizabeth-class design as a contender for India’s third aircraft carrier, which will be built in India.

“BAE Systems has begun discussions with India regarding the potential for basing development of the second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-2) project on the successful Queen Elizabeth Class design,” said a BAE statement. “The design is adaptable to offer either ski jump or catapult launch and can be modified to meet Indian Navy and local industry requirements.”

India currently operates one aircraft carrier, the 45,000-ton Vikramaditya, which is actually the former Soviet carrier Admiral Gorshkov. That ship has been plagued by engine problems as well as reliability issues with its MiG-29K fighters.

Under construction is India’s first indigenous carrier, the 40,000-ton Vikrant, while is scheduled to go to sea in 2020. But as is often the case with Indian-built defense projects, the vessel has suffered from problems such as massive cost overruns and disputes with Russian contractors who are supplying materials for the Indian-built ship.

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