A look at the history of US Navy aircraft carriers and naval aviation.
Currently, India relies on its 1940s-vintage aircraft carrier the INS Viraat (ex HMS Hermes) . that will remain in service until at least 2018 (pos. 2020) when the INS Vikrant will be commissioned.
An additional aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya (ex Soviet carrier Baku) is currently undergoing sea trials and aviation trials with a mixed Russian/Indian crew and is expected to be handed over in November 2013… ish… provided the date doesn’t slip… again.
A second Vikrant class aircraft carrier, provisionally named INS Vishal, is in the design stage, pending funding… and, more importantly, a decision on whether further ships in the class will be conventionally or nuclear powered.
The former INS Vikrant (ex HMS Hercules) was decommissioned from the Indian Navy in 1997 and is alongside as a ‘sometimes open, sometimes closed’ museum ship in Mumbai and may be sent for scrap if funds are not found for her continued preservation. That would be a shame, as she’s the only Second World War era British aircraft carrier that is preserved as a museum ship.
Indian-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant launched
India has unveiled its first home-built aircraft carrier from a shipyard in southern Kerala state.
The 37,500 tonne INS Vikrant is expected to go for extensive trials in 2016 before being inducted into the navy by 2018, reports say.
With this, India joins a select group of countries capable of building such a vessel.
Other countries capable of building a similar ship are the US, the UK, Russia and France.
Monday’s launch of INS Vikrant marks the end of the first phase of its construction.
The ship will be then re-docked for outfitting and further construction.
The ship, which will have a length of 260m (850ft) and a breadth of 60m, has been built at the shipyard in Cochin.
It was designed and manufactured locally, using high grade steel made by a state-owned steel company.
Vice-Admiral RK Dhowan of India’s navy has described the launch as the “crowning glory” of the navy’s programme to produce vessels on home soil.
United States Navy AVA19833VNB1.
The USS Harry S. Truman was due to deploy in February, but the deployment was delayed due to “budget uncertainty” resulting from the US government’s self-imposed financial woes. Now the Truman is ready to depart – along with the other elements of Carrier Strike Group 10 – a carrier air wing comprising more ship-based aircraft than many nations have in their entire inventory, and (likewise) more guided missile cruisers and destroyers than many navies can boast in their entirety.
And bear in mind, the US Navy has eleven of these flat tops with eleven air wings and eleven destroyer squadrons. Eleven. That’s with the “budget uncertainty.” That we should all have such uncertain navies!
Aircraft carrier Truman set to deploy next week
The aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman is set to deploy with its strike group to the Persian Gulf next week for an eight- to nine-month cruise, the Navy said Wednesday.
The carrier strike group and its more than 6,000-man crew will depart Monday from Norfolk Naval Station, the Navy said.
The carrier was supposed to deploy in February, but severe budget cuts upended the fleet deployment schedule and the carrier’s departure was canceled just two days before it was to leave.
At the time, the Truman crew had spent months doing the workups and earning the certifications needed to deploy. They spent the past five months staying prepared, the strike group’s commander said.
“We’ve worked very hard over the last several months to maintain our combat readiness following the delay of our deployment in February due to sequestration,” Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney said in a statement.
Since February, the Dwight D. Eisenhower has deployed and returned from the Gulf to Norfolk, while the Nimitz deployed from the west coast as the John C. Stennis came home. Because of the budget cuts, the Navy has scaled down its required presence in the Gulf from two carriers to one.
The Truman will be deploying with the destroyers Bulkeley and Mason, the guided missile cruisers Gettysburg and San Jacinto and 1st Combined Destroyer Squadron, a combined U.K. and U.S. staff.
Carrier Air Wing 3 – comprised of three Navy and one Marine strike fighter squadrons, an early warning squadron, electronic attack squadron and Navy and Marine helicopter squadrons – will also deploy as part of the strike group.