More News Of Empty Carrier Decks
This amazing story on the travails of building modern warships is from the Times of India:
As it is, India solitary aircraft carrier, the 50-year-old INS Viraat, is being flogged to ensure it can operate for another five years.
To make matters worse, Navy is fast running out of fighter jets to operate from its deck.
This is just another example of how the utter lack of long-term strategic planning and execution continues to be a bane for India, which harbours notions of being a major player on the global stage. The crash of another Sea Harrier jump-jet off Goa on Friday, which killed its pilot, means Navy is left with barely eight single-seater fighters and three twin-seater trainers.
“A carrier without fighters is like a tiger without teeth,” said a senior officer.
I continue to marvel how dependent world navies are on these extremely costly monuments whose roles are increasingly taken by smaller, cheaper alternatives, while the ships themselves are an increasing drag on stretched thin budgets. Since at least the 1960s, the carrier has been in competition with the cruise missile for its relevance, as with such increasingly smart weapons (UAVs as reusable cruise missiles) every warship can now be an aircraft carrier. Much like the flattops first sank the battleships, then displaced them in importance, so will her antagonist the cruise missile-firing warship soon displace the more costly and escort dependent ships on the high seas, and in many ways already has!