Skip to content

Breaking: Britain May Sell New Carrier to India

November 15, 2009
800px-Pa2_uk_svg

Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier. Graphic by Rama via Wikipedia Commons.

Selling one of the 2 Queen Elizabeth to India? This is actually not a bad idea. I’ll explain later, but here is the amazing story concerning the hapless Royal Navy supercarriers, from the Guardian:

One of Britain’s new £2bn aircraft carriers could be sold off under cost-cutting plans being considered by the Ministry of Defence. India has lodged a firm expression of interest, the Observer has learned…According to senior defence sources, Whitehall officials are examining the feasibility of a sale as part of the strategic defence review that will start early next year and is expected to result in savage cuts.

Admittedly, this would be a bitter pill for the proud British to swallow (though the jobs would stay in country). Here is why it is a win-win situation for both parties.  We have posted on this story before, of India’s ongoing attempts to replace aging warships and create a modern naval air arm. In so doing, they find themselves in an amazing predicament, in no wise unique, according to the Times of India:

On one hand, it has an aging but newly-refurbished aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, which is fast running out of fighters which can operate from its deck.

On the other, it’s soon going to induct another type of maritime fighters but no suitable carrier to operate them from. Navy will get Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov only by early-2013 but will begin inducting its MiG-29Ks later this month.

India has the fighters but no new carrier, while Britain will soon have the Queen Elizabeth carriers but can’t afford enough aircraft to fill their massive decks. So now you see why the story from the Guardian makes all the more sense. Money saved would go a long way in restoring the Royal Navy’s fallen fortunes, in an age of austerity at sea. They could now afford enough subs and surface ships for an effective fleet without breaking the bank.

India would at long last possess a modern carrier arm, which she has desired for so long (though we often warn, be careful what you wish for). It doesn’t look like the Gorshkov is going to enter service any time soon, and its own indigenous carriers are years away, while the superb but antiquated Viraat/Hermes is in poor shape.

This is a breaking story. We’ll keep you posted on developments. (Or our sharp-eyed reporter D.E. Reddick will, who we thank for posting this link!)

More

Some questions which need be asked.

  1. Can the Indian Mig-29K operate from the QE’s?
  2. Will she be forced into joining the F-35 JSF program?
  3. Can she afford the price of even one supercarrier (at least 2 billion pounds, and likely more for transfer costs and upgrades)?

Even More

Mike at Combat Fleet sees this as another rumor.

47 Comments leave one →
  1. Kory McDonald permalink
    May 12, 2011 2:32 pm

    Check on one of my previous posts, that should have been posted here to begin with. But, I’ll make a further points here. Hell, England has gotten in bed with the French that need a second aircraft carrier and now can afford both. Two, the question is why does India need more than three aircraft carriers. I can only think of one reason and everyone here is thinking it in the back of their minds, China. True China does not have an aircraft carrier… yet. But, they have it slated for the 2015 to 2020 time period.

    Thirdly, the Royal navy has been getting cut all the time and at this point in time both there escort fleet and there submarines are majorly flawed. Here is the solution in my opinion and from my friends in Britain, we need defense not social programs that do not mean a thing. Stop cutting your own throats with the rusty blade and do something about it you need work, hello what did WW2 do for the Americans we built ships like mad. Now war material is one of the more rational ideas for this type of work building exercises that are needed now in Great Britain. So make two possibly three for themselves, another for France, another for India, and whoever wants one.

    The cash could be used to solve the rest of the RN’s problems in another 2 type 45’s that were in the original plans when they were building them. Get the type 26&27 frigates off the ground, and fix the Astute Class Submarines, and build another Ocean Class LHD.

  2. Graham permalink
    December 4, 2010 3:49 pm

    Hi

    I’m neither as educated or have the in-depth knowlege of the Aircraft you guys clearly do.

    However My father was in thge Britsh Navy for 24 years. He served on pretty much every carrier we had from 1976 until 2000.

    He also fought in the first Gulf War on the Ark Royal.

    Money issues or not.

    The fact is you need 2 carriers if your to conduct carrier operations off a hostile coast.

    1 to be in port getting refitted or preparing to go operational again and 1 to be conducting hostile operations off the hostile coast.

    There really isn’t much point having 1 carrier.

    In reality I think its a hard choice of having 2 Carriers or not having any carriers.

    I beleive that the 2 Super Carriers being built at the moment will be the UK’s last big Carriers.

    This is due to a combination of new Aircraft advances (e.g. JSF) meaning the need for a large Carrier being much less and the continued developement of ERV’s during the lifetime of the new Super Carriers.

    I also beleive that trying to purchase a big Carrier when the time comes to replace the new Super Carriers with politcally be even more difficult than it currently is.

  3. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 27, 2009 5:08 am

    Rahul-Thanks and you make a good argument. However it has been a very long rough road getting to replacing India’s old British carriers. At least these British carriers would be fresh off the stocks.

  4. Rahul permalink
    November 27, 2009 2:14 am

    The Bush administration was more into feeding technology to India as a counter balance to China not anymore…Obama is more trying to patch up things with the Chinese and supply the Pakistanis with money and arms cause the ongoing ”war on terror”…I dont think India must buy this carrier…at least one of them will do us good but as of now its better we manage till 2012 till Vikramaditya arrives…As CVF carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, are expected to enter service in 2012 and 2015….The supercarriers its operating costs might be high…strategy now is to get smaller carriers easy to operate and scramble…In asia to get a carrier battle group to china sea,having a super carrier makes it easier to spot and there only one way through the malacca straight which is always busy and narrow…we need smaller one as cost cutting measures in times of war…small is better these days…as far a India is concerned smaller carriers are ideal for it…so we raher wait to get the russian as well as Indigenous ones ready…the Russian one will surely be ready by then….keeping in mind the chinese navy is carrier-less as of now…Jai Hind

  5. m.ridgard permalink
    November 17, 2009 4:08 pm

    D.E.Reddick,
    Thanks for the info,looks like you have given me more than enough to be going on with.
    Just as a starter tried your link to npr.org and the first article I came across is ‘ 1 in 7 Americans not getting enough to eat’
    Looks like the grass is not always greener on the other side.

  6. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 17, 2009 3:42 pm

    M. Ridgard,

    I really don’t know all that much about the UK press, other than to skip the cover page of the The Sun and go on back to Page Three. ;-)

    For the US press, first try National Public Radio (NPR). They try to cover topics from multiple perspectives. Of course, conservatives accuse them of being flaming liberals and then liberals accuse them of being rapid reactionaries (regarding the same, identical topical reports). I tend to think of NPR as the American equivalent of other national English-language networks such as BBC, ABC (the OZ version), and CBC. NPR probably does have a slight liberal bent, but they do appear to be making an honest effort at working against that inclination MSNBC appears to be more liberal than neutral, while FoxNews does have a conservative bent. Start with NPR and then expand outwards if you wish to learn more about US news coverage.

    http://www.npr.org/

  7. m.ridgard permalink
    November 17, 2009 3:12 pm

    D.E.Reddick,
    In having a working knowledge of the U.K. press you have me at a disadvantage as my knowledge of the press in the U.S.A. is almost non existant,though I suspect it is no better or worse than ours.
    Having just come across Mike’s website I am finding it very interesting especialy looking at it from a ‘foreigners’ point of view.
    Hope I didn’t come across as to abrasive,that was not my intention it’s just that things over here in the defence sector are a very touchy subject at the moment.
    Hope to converse with you in the future,all the best.

  8. November 17, 2009 2:44 pm

    Hello Mike Burleson,

    here is a working link to the Ministry of Defence blog:

    http://www.blogs.mod.uk/

    Here are the appropriate extracts from that blog:

    “‘Speculation’ of aircraft carrier sale to India

    An article in The Guardian suggests that the MOD is considering selling one of the two future aircraft carriers to India to ease the strain on the Defence Budget. This is unfounded speculation. There has been no approach by the Indian Navy to the MOD about purchasing a future aircraft carrier.”

    “RAF and Planning Round 2010

    The Sunday Times has reported that ‘Air Force chiefs are preparing to cut 10,000 staff – a quarter of their manpower – and close up to five large air bases’.

    The MOD undertakes Planning Rounds to ensure that our plans to deliver Defence capability are sound and that resources are allocated in line with Defence priorities. The Planning Round is used routinely to examine a range of proposals, both to enhance investment in certain areas and to reduce levels of investment in areas of lower priority.

    Planning Round 2010, which is currently underway, seeks to rebalance the programme to reflect current priorities and residual pressures on the Defence Budget. There are a number of pressures which the MOD, like other organisations, has to take into account; they include a weak Sterling, and increased utility costs. Importantly, the work will also ensure that top priority is given to achieving success on operations in Afghanistan and tough decisions will have to be taken to ensure that this is the case.

    As is usual in this type of work a wide range of options are being considered in Planning Round 2010. No decisions have yet been taken. It would therefore be premature to speculate about specific measures.”

    tangosix.

  9. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 17, 2009 2:38 pm

    M. Ridgard,

    I have an educated American’s basic knowledge of the UK press. Which is to say – be cautious and accept anything stated with a grain of salt. Note that I was skeptical when first commenting on this story. It was so fantastical (I did say “radically strange”) that I just had to share it on this blog. And when a few other press outlets covered it, I simply followed up with those reports. ‘Nuff said, methinks.

    And, yes – I’m American (one of my ancestors was a French Huguenot aboard the second ship to make landfall at the Plymouth Colony, following the Mayflower). I’m presently on the other side of I-95 (the left or west side) from Mike in the LowCountry of South Carolina.

  10. m.ridgard permalink
    November 17, 2009 2:09 pm

    Mike,
    go to http://www.blogs.moduk and then click onto ‘defence news’ this gives a daily roundup of news releases from the MOD UK.
    As with all British civil service press releases it is very diplomatic (non committal) but is in essence the truth at the given time.
    D.E.Reddick.
    I take it you are familiar with the British press especially the Guardian and the Observer,not trying to be funny but I am not sure whether or not you live in the UK.
    Of course I am critical,these rags are so left wing as to be untrue.
    In general non of the British press have a reliable defence correspondent and if you read them you will understand what I mean.
    The mistakes and misinformation they print is not taken seriously by anyone who is either a defence proffessional or a knowledgable follower of defence matters.
    It is therefore wise not to quote them without first checking upon the reliability of their reports and sources of information,as you yourself point out most of these sources are ‘anonymous’ surely that should ring warning bells.
    By the way the length of time it takes the Indian defence procurement system to make any decisions,the CVF’s will be ready for the scrapyard.

  11. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 17, 2009 12:58 pm

    M. Ridgard,

    I didn’t start this matter, so don’t be critical just because I was the first commenter on the blog to notice that it existed. The British press in the form of The Guardian / The Observer brought up this matter. Other press outlets have continued to report on it with quotes from anonymous MoD officials. In my first posting regarding the story I was skeptical (“radically strange. If true,”). In Mike’s first response to it he too was skeptical (“No way!” “Radically strange!”). See those comments below:

    D. E. Reddick 2009 November 14

    Mike and others, OK – now things are getting to be radically strange! If true, then things in Great Britain’s MoD are far worse than any of us on the western side of The Pond might have previously imagined! The following is from The Observer:

    MoD may sell aircraft carrier to India to limit cuts

    One of Britain’s new £2bn aircraft carriers could be sold off under cost-cutting plans being considered by the Ministry of Defence. India has lodged a firm expression of interest, the Observer has learned.

    The sale of one of the two 65,000-tonne vessels would leave the Royal Navy with a single carrier and could force Britain to borrow from the French fleet, which itself has only one carrier and is reluctant to build more. Last summer the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, proposed to Gordon Brown that the two navies co-ordinate maintenance and refitting so that one was at sea at all times.

    According to senior defence sources, Whitehall officials are examining the feasibility of a sale as part of the strategic defence review that will start early next year and is expected to result in savage cuts.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/nov/15/mod-may-sell-carrier

    Mike Burleson 2009 November 15

    D.E.-No way! In preparing the Carrier Alternative Weekly post for Thursday, here is what I wrote Saturday morning:

    So (India) has the fighters but no new carrier, or otherwise, up the creek without a paddle. Britain will soon have the Queen Elizabeth carriers but can’t afford enough aircraft to fill their massive decks. There’s your answer! Britain sells her 2 unneeded and unaffordable flattops to India, spend the rest on restoring the Royal Navy’s fallen numbers of surface ships and submarines, perhaps enough left over to start start funding on a second HMS Ocean class. Problem solved!

    It seemed like a sensible notion, but I had no idea they would seriously consider it! You’re right. Radically strange!

  12. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 17, 2009 10:57 am

    Michael do you have a link to this MoD announcment? In D.E.’s defense, the media all over the world is also repeating this “rumor”, while we are just a lowly SC blog.

  13. m.ridgard permalink
    November 17, 2009 10:27 am

    D.E.Reddick.
    Sorry but why do you insist on continuing with posting these rumours about the CVF.
    Lets make it clear,Britain is not interested in selling a carrier that is at the moment at least six or seven years from completion,the first one has only been in build for three months.
    The complexity of the new carrier is such that I doubt very much even the British government would hand over details of mission systems,weapons handling and electronics etc leaving any buyer to fit it own systems.
    This in itself would cost millions of pounds and endless further work and research,apart from the little known fact that France although putting its plans for a second carrier on hold until approx 2011/12 has paid Britain a ‘substantial’ amount of money for the plans to the new CVF.
    This is just a down payment and if France goes head with said carrier she is obliged to pay the U.K. even more.
    Do you see France agreeing for technologey transfer to India under these conditions.
    Now for the last part,today the British M.O.D. has announced that they have had NO approach from india and are NOT in any discussion with anyone regarding selling the sale of a CVF.
    Please stop these rumours,our defence programme at the moment is in dire straits without your help.

  14. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 17, 2009 6:16 am

    Avinash-You are absolutely correct. It is too expensive, and 2 Vikrants would be more practical. It would be a win for Britain because she would be spared the enormous expense, looking at it both ways.

  15. November 17, 2009 5:01 am

    Any way , there is no news of this on Indian news channels , only a small article in Business Standard newspaper .and we all know that Indian media could have made it a huge story which would have prompted the Indian government to make an announcement regarding such rumor

  16. November 17, 2009 4:52 am

    well, the QE Class is an excellent Aircraft carrier and we can afford it ,but do u guys think that US would supply us with the F35 which will operate from it.
    We can get the rafale or the F-18 superhornet, for it, if they are chosen for the MRCA CONTRACT
    And also i don’t think that it is a value proposition at 5 bilion $ . for that kind of money u can get two 40000 ton Vikrant class carrier capable of operating 35 aircraft(29 mig29k jets , 6 ka31 helicopters )
    India will also not wait for UK to make decision on sale ,for a long time since construction of the second Vikrant class carrier has to start by 2011 for it to be deployed by 2020

  17. Graham Strouse permalink
    November 17, 2009 12:11 am

    Mike, I see this as a highly plausible scenario & a win-win-win-win for the US, GBR, China AND India. India has the technical knowledge & flexibility to maintain American & Russian equipment–they buy arms from EVERYBODY & have a significant advantage over the West when it comes to maintenance: lower cost of living + solidly trained engineers. They’re also a critical nation–maybe THE most critical nation, as far as the conflict with Islamic extremists goes. India is at the fulcrum here. They’re a check on Pakistan. They have a logistical advantage over Western nations & China (which has its own issues with Islamic fundamentalists). Keeping India strong keeps the nut-cases in checkmate without draining down our own resources. Come to think of it, I expect Russia would appreciate the support too–they’ve had some rather unpleasant altercations with their own extremist elements in the Caucasus as I recall…

  18. elgatoso permalink
    November 16, 2009 11:36 pm

    Tarl,I am not trying to antagonize you,but for blogs like AVWeek ,AUSA,ELP,Def Tech and DOD Buzz that are criticizing the F-35 you have others like F-16 net,Defense Talk ,and a lot of Europeans blogs that think the F-35is the ultimate fighter

  19. elgatoso permalink
    November 16, 2009 10:48 pm

    I believe more in the company that created Skunk Works that in some obscure blog from Australia

  20. Tarl permalink
    November 16, 2009 10:17 pm

    Why the US will kill the second best aircraft in the world?

    Because it’s not. It is too much airplane for low-end conflicts and not enough airplane for high-end conflicts.

    Carlo Kopp’s site has good info on its deficiencies.

    http://www.ausairpower.net/

  21. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 16, 2009 6:48 pm

    Mike,

    Yeah…

    1) “a defence source said this weekend;”

    2) “a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said;”

    3) “said Jon Rosamond, editor of the authoritative Jane’s Navy International.”

    said… said… said…

    BTW – it’s clear that you’re residing in the LowCountry… “these nameless spokespeople who is feeding us story.” Let’s see – wrong verb tense, missing article – you must be living on James Island or relatively nearby. ;-)

  22. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 16, 2009 6:20 pm

    DE- thanks for the extra info.

    I’m still waiting for the MoD denial but I’m also wondering about these nameless spokespeople who is feeding us story.

  23. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 16, 2009 12:39 pm

    Here’s another perspective from Thaindian News:

    The British warship that India wants: quantum leap on the high seas

    November 16th, 2009 – 8:00 pm ICT by IANS

    By Dipankar De Sarkar
    London, Nov 16 (IANS) A futuristic aircraft carrier that India is reported to be keen on buying from Britain is envisaged as a giant guardian of the high seas, capable of travelling thousands of kilometres from home and wreaking massive destruction on enemy targets, experts said Monday.

    “It’s all about power projection. The Indian Navy is in the process of expanding its reach as a naval force capable of operating far from its own shores,” said Jon Rosamond, editor of the authoritative Jane’s Navy International.

    “The Indian Navy has been patrolling the Gulf of Aden on an anti-piracy mission, but this ship will increase its reach even further afield,” he added.

    “It would give India access to the Far East and even the Western Pacific. The aircraft carrier has a life span of 40-50 years, so there has been a lot of speculation. People are talking about the rivalry with China in particular,” Rosamond told IANS.

    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/sci-tech/the-british-warship-that-india-wants-quantum-leap-on-the-high-seas_100275595.html

  24. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 16, 2009 12:26 pm

    Some interesting comments regarding the possible sale of a RN CV to India have appeared in a newly updated report from The Guardian.

    Royal Navy aircraft carrier may be sold to India

    Government considering sale one of two £2bn machines as part of strategic defence review

    “Selling a carrier is one very serious option,” a defence source said this weekend, although the government is a long way from committing to any sale. It could take between six and 12 months to reach a decision, he added.

    Asked about the plan for a sale of the one of the carriers, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said lots of options for the carriers were being considered, but stressed that no decision had been taken. “We have got the strategic defence review coming up, so all options are on the table,” she said.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/nov/16/royal-navy-aircraft-carrier-sale

  25. elgatoso permalink
    November 16, 2009 9:58 am

    Tarl said””Then the US could kill the F-35 with a clear conscience. So many winners all around!”

    Why the US will kill the second best aircraft in the world?

  26. Anurag Upadhyay permalink
    November 16, 2009 1:36 am

    QE a/c is in construction and even if India buys it,induction can’t occur before 2016.Gorshkov will be ready before 2013 but increasing price of gorshkov has already caused much criticism of navy.Vikrant class a/c will be commissioned after 2016.INS viraat was supposed to be decommissioned by 2006,so Indian navy is in fear of without being an a/c for the first time in 50 years.QE a/c is a good option for future but Indian navy needs immediate replacement.I think money will be the deciding factor in buying QE a/c as then Indian navy will have to either-
    1.Scrap the deal of Admiral gorshkov but it is very uncertain as it is the only a/c Indian navy can get by latest.
    2.Delay the order of 2nd Vikrant class a/c as even by 2020 Indian navy will not be in position to operate more than 3 a/c as they require huge money and man power.

  27. Joe permalink
    November 15, 2009 10:24 pm

    I think the prevailing sentiment makes a lot of sense. The money saved by the U.K. if this carrier deal w/India goes through won’t be reinvested in the RN or RAF or anything starting with the word “Royal”. It’ll simpy be whacked out of the defence budget, never to be seen again.

    Tarl’s idea about the Sea Harriers is spot on.

    With Britain’s defence programme seemingly on the brink, I guess we could start a parlor game of guessing by what percentage the defence spending level will be cut after next year’s review.

  28. Tarl permalink
    November 15, 2009 9:42 pm

    I think the real lesson of all these stories together is Britain should restart Sea Harrier production. Cheap aircraft for her own carriers, cheap aircraft for sale to many other navies – like India – that have small carriers!

    Then the US could kill the F-35 with a clear conscience. So many winners all around!

  29. Tarl permalink
    November 15, 2009 9:39 pm

    Money saved would go a long way in restoring the Royal Navy’s fallen fortunes, in an age of austerity at sea. They could now afford enough subs and surface ships for an effective fleet without breaking the bank.

    Alas, the money not spent on a carrier would not be spent on subs and surface ships (and parenthetically, subs are far more useless than carriers for the British).

    Money not spent on carriers will be taken away from the Royal Navy entirely. Britain will have neither a carrier nor subs nor surface ships.

  30. November 15, 2009 8:25 pm

    Hello Mike Burleson,

    the picture you posted earlier was on CVA-01,the aircraft carrier which was cancelled in the 1960s.

    Mike Burleson said:

    “India has the fighters but no new carrier, while Britain will soon have the Queen Elizabeth carriers but can’t afford enough aircraft to fill their massive decks.”

    The whole point of buying large aircraft carriers is that they allow you to do expeditionary air warfare at lower cost with fewer fighters and less tanker support.
    Which is why the 330 strong British fast jet fleet is likely to be substantially reduced leading to substantial cost savings.
    The United Kingdom is likely to buy 160 Typhoons for two land based wings and enough F-35Cs for a carrier wing,about 63 for a 36 strong wing based on current ratios.
    That is likely to save well in excess of £1,000,000,000 a year,ten times the cost of a carrier.

    Mike Burleson said:

    “Money saved would go a long way in restoring the Royal Navy’s fallen fortunes, in an age of austerity at sea. They could now afford enough subs and surface ships for an effective fleet without breaking the bank.”

    If the carrier was sold it would probably be to save money,not to spend it on submarines and surface ships.
    The money saved would only pay for a couple of extra destroyers anyway and two destroyers are much less useful than an aircraft carrier.
    Last year the Royal Navy spent £7,491,158,000.
    The annualised whole lifecycle cost of a Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier is probably just over £100,000,000 a year per ship.
    The Royal Navy spends about eighteen times that amount on it’s frigates and destroyers each year,the idea that the carriers are bleeding the navy dry is a myth.
    By way of comparison the three current invincible class carriers cost about £50-60,000,000 a year each to operate.
    There is only one good reason to sell the carriers (and some other ships) and that is to buy a bigger dual purpose air attack/air assault carrier.

    Mike Burleson said:

    “As bad as it may look, this would actually be good for the Brits who could think about increasing ship numbers, which is in a bad way.”

    If the carrier is sold to save money that will not mean more money is available for increasing ship numbers.

    Mike Burleson said:

    “So are we saying this story is bogus? Plus we got the news on the RAF cuts also. This coming on a weekend also suggests validity since the politicos like to post bad news this way.”

    The United Kingdom will soon be having a defence review.
    As part of that review,the services consider all options available to them along the lines of “If the budget is cut by £X,000 Million,we would have to cut Y capability.”.
    These are not plans but options which are being considered.
    They are frequently leaked to the press who then run stories,such as those you are reading,as if these options were real plans.
    These stories then spread like wildfire through the media and internet.
    Just because other media outlets are reporting the rumours they read elsewhere does not make the rumour any more than a rumour.

    Mike Burleson said:

    “Wonder if China would seek to block such a deal, knowing the clout the Reds have with the Europeans as well as America.”

    China has no ability to block an arms deal between Britain and India.

    Distiller said;

    “For Europe I would classify such a move as yet another stepping stone towards an Joint EU force, aka Euro-Wehrmacht. And the sooner that happens, the better.”

    Better for whom?
    The British people whose sovereignty and democratic rights are being removed against their will along with the independence of their armed forces?

    Bharat said:

    “By 2020, Indian Navy would have at least 3 to 5 aircraft carriers.

    1. INS Vikramaditya (Russian)

    2. INS Vikrant I (Indigenous air craft carrier, currently being built in Cochin shipyard) by 2015

    3. INS Vikrant II (another Indigenous carrier). This one could be nuclear powered. (Experience from the design of nuke power plant for India’s indigenous nuclear submarine can help a lot). It could see the light by 2020.

    4. INS Whatever (British) apparently Britain wants to pay welfare checks. Can’t afford to have 2 aircart carriers.

    5. INS Viraat (It is not that bad) may go on till 2025, until another air craft carrier is either built or bought.”

    You are quite right,Britain can’t spend as much on defence as it should because it is busy paying welfare checques to feed starving Indians:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/19/britain-aid-to-india-825m

    Or as others might suggest,busy paying cheques for India’s new carrier fleet.

    Mike Burleson said:

    “Maybe the White House would encourage this sale to India and get some of the pressure off us in the Western Pacific!”

    The Whitehouse would have no say in any British arms sale to India unless there was some American technology onboard which needed export permission (or if they decided to subsidise it).
    India is already in the process of building a large fleet of aircraft carriers,if they bought a British carrier instead of building one themselves,that would make no difference to the strategic balance in the region.
    Although it would be a very good thing for India as they would get one of the world’s most capable carriers for a very reasonable cost.
    They would be much better off buying carriers from Britain than from Russia.

  31. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 15, 2009 7:54 pm

    Apparently India and Russia are agreeing to a new ‘payment’ (might someone think extortion or blackmail -payout-) for the Soviet Ex-Baku / Russian Ex-Gorshkov aircraft carrier being bebuilt for the Indian Navy.

    Perhaps India’s -reportedly- expressed interest in one of the two building British RN CVs is a calculated negotiating point with those money-hungry ship-refurbishers of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.

    Who knows –wwhhaatt– to think…

    RIANOVOSTI

    Russia, India agree to sign new deal on aircraft carrier overhaul

    16:1515/11/2009

    DUBAI, November 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will soon sign a new deal with India on additional funds to finish a refit of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Sunday.

    “The negotiations were uneasy but the Indian side treated with understanding the existing problems. They recognized the need to additionally finance the contract and in the near future this will be formalized,” Mikhail Zavaliy, Rosoboronexport director for special missions said at a major air show in the Middle East.

    http://en.rian.ru/russia/20091115/156846815.html

  32. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 15, 2009 4:58 pm

    Mr X, you could be right! Maybe the White House would encourage this sale to India and get some of the pressure off us in the Western Pacific!

    Chuck, certainly too early to say anything definite. But stranger things have happened. I know someone was pointing to the sale of Invincible to Australia and how that fell through, but also no one expected the CVA-10 cancellation in the 60s, which is more like the ship building now in terms of costs and capabilities.

    I just think a new era of warfare is upon us, and though these type ships are still useful, they are not necessary. As bad as it may look, this would actually be good for the Brits who could think about increasing ship numbers, which is in a bad way.

  33. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 15, 2009 4:13 pm

    This doesn’t sound right to me either. The timing seems off. By the time PofW is ready India should be building their own. (POW/Prince of Wales is a really bad choice of names anyway.)

  34. November 15, 2009 3:56 pm

    @Mike Burleson

    I was just saying that The Guardian is slightly mis-named that’s all!!!!

    FYI The Observer is The Guardian’s Sunday only sister paper.

    I am upset my security studies lecturer the other week by saying India was China’s primary rival. I must be wrong as he has two doctorates…….. :)

  35. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 15, 2009 2:40 pm

    m.ridgard-Thankfully, I am not the author of the story, just this lowly blog. And I fixed the photo.

  36. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 15, 2009 2:22 pm

    Yeah, very sly posting on the weekend. No one up but us! Wait for the uproar tomorrow, or at least the denials!

  37. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 15, 2009 2:10 pm

    Well, the story has been picked up by others. Maybe it is real!?!

    Business Standard
    Monday, Nov 16, 2009

    India may buy UK aircraft carrier
    Press Trust Of India / London November 16, 2009, 0:54 ISTBusiness Standard

    Whitehall officials examining the feasibility of such a sale.

    As part of its cost-cutting plans, Britain may sell one of its new £2-billion aircraft carriers to India, which has lodged a firm expression of interest, a media report said today.

    Quoting senior defence sources, The Observer newspaper reported that Whitehall officials were examining the feasibility of such a sale to India under cost-cutting plans being considered by the Ministry of Defence.

    http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/india-may-buy-uk-aircraft-carrier/376571/

  38. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 15, 2009 1:57 pm

    And American planes. Whats up with that? I’ll probably change it. It was very early when I posted this!

  39. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 15, 2009 1:44 pm

    Mike,

    What carrier design is that which you’ve used, above? It certainly isn’t the current dual-island design of the Queen Elizabeth CVs. Here’s a link to an image of QE-class CVs from our friends at Wikipedia. It matches other examples of imagery for the new RN CVs.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/Pa2_uk.svg

  40. Matthew S. permalink
    November 15, 2009 1:20 pm

    Last time everyone got all excited about the commando carrier deal and that turned out to be a rumor. We’ll see on this one. It doesn’t seem right, if they got it that would give them 3 distinct carriers of different classes: the indigenous Indian one, the British built one and the Russian built one. That seems like a maintenance nightmare.

  41. m.ridgard permalink
    November 15, 2009 12:31 pm

    Another non story from the well known left wing guardian,obviously not a lot happening so lets make something up.
    The article might have had some credibility if the author had even bothered to give us a diagram of the carrier being built instead of some archaic twenty year old drawing.
    There are more holes in this ‘story’ than a colander.

  42. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 15, 2009 12:07 pm

    What’s next? Maybe the UK will offer the first three of its Daring-class Type 45 AAW destroyers to go along with the CV.

    After that? Maybe some slightly used SSNs.

  43. Bharat permalink
    November 15, 2009 11:32 am

    By 2020, Indian Navy would have at least 3 to 5 aircraft carriers.

    1. INS Vikramaditya (Russian)

    2. INS Vikrant I (Indigenous air craft carrier, currently being built in Cochin shipyard) by 2015

    3. INS Vikrant II (another Indigenous carrier). This one could be nuclear powered. (Experience from the design of nuke power plant for India’s indigenous nuclear submarine can help a lot). It could see the light by 2020.

    4. INS Whatever (British) apparently Britain wants to pay welfare checks. Can’t afford to have 2 aircart carriers.

    5. INS Viraat (It is not that bad) may go on till 2025, until another air craft carrier is either built or bought.

  44. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 15, 2009 8:29 am

    Wonder if China would seek to block such a deal, knowing the clout the Reds have with the Europeans as well as America. This is all so fascinating!

  45. Distiller permalink
    November 15, 2009 7:28 am

    Makes me think about those Japanese battle ships built in Britain a century ago. Designing and building major combat ships for other countries has been done before. Impossible with a carrier? No, wouldn’t say so.

    I think geostrategically it would make some sense, taking into account how much the U.S. is feeding India with technology to act as counter-weight to China. Think a CTOL CVF with Super Hornets (or Rafale)! In any case it would be a dramatic strategic shift in the Indian Ocean and a major stumbling block for any more aggressive Chinese action in Africa.

    For Europe I would classify such a move as yet another stepping stone towards an Joint EU force, aka Euro-Wehrmacht. And the sooner that happens, the better.

  46. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 15, 2009 5:49 am

    So are we saying this story is bogus? Plus we got the news on the RAF cuts also. This coming on a weekend also suggests validity since the politicos like to post bad news this way.

    Just asking because it does sound far-fetched, though intriguing.

  47. November 15, 2009 5:35 am

    The Guardian is a left wing newspaper; it is very much the paper of socialist political class, those who grew up privileged and think they know what’s best for everyone else. They would quite happily disarm the UK (in the mistaken belief that Europe would defend us and the Chinese are nice guys.)

    I am going to go off and think about all this……..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: