Could India and France Build Aircraft Carriers Together? A Navy Veteran Thinks So

Could India and France Build Aircraft Carriers Together? A Navy Veteran Thinks So


Folks, a former big boss of the Indian Navy, Admiral Arun Prakash, has started a buzz online that could make waves in how we build our warships. He's suggesting India and France team up and build their next major aircraft carriers at the same time!

What's the big deal, you ask? Well, the idea is to build France's fancy new carrier, the PA-NG, over there and our homegrown Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-III (IAC-3) right here in India. Admiral Prakash believes this would be a win-win. We'd get to learn from the French, experts in shipbuilding, and they could tap into our knowledge. Plus, maybe we could even snag some know-how for our dream of nuclear-powered warships. And, of course, both countries could split the work and make the whole thing a smoother ride.

India's already shown how serious we are about aircraft carriers. We've got the IAC-I in action, a mighty ship at 45,000 tons, and the IAC-II on the way. But the IAC-III? That's a whole different beast, a potential 60,000-ton powerhouse.

Meanwhile, the French aren't messing around either. The PA-NG looks set to be incredible – around 75,000 tons, packed with cutting-edge tech like those cool electromagnetic catapults to launch planes. You throw in fighters like the Rafale M (which we're already getting comfy with), and that's a force to be reckoned with.

So, picture this: master shipbuilders from both countries sharing ideas, maybe even swapping engineers. It's the kind of partnership that makes India and France stronger together on the high seas.

Of course, it's not all smooth sailing. Building two monster carriers at once? That's a tricky dance, even for the best planners. And nuclear technology… well, let's just say sharing those secrets is a whole different ball game.

Still, it's a bold idea. The kind that could change how India builds its future navy. What do you think? Should we go for it?
 
An interesting idea for this would be, if, say, we were to upscale Vikrant's design to 50,000 or 55,000 tons, and go for either IEP (more likely) or even a CATOBAR setup (quite unlikely).

On one hand, this sort of modification would leave the door open in the future for go for an even larger carrier in the form of IAC-III, and the tested technologies would give us a lot of knowledge and experience.

On the other hand, that may well leave us with three different-sized carriers of differing capabilities once IAC-III were to enter service to replace Vikramaditya.
I would suggest let us get 1 more 45000 Ton Vikrant class carrier, at best with IEC, but delivered by 2032 (if approvals come in 2024)...In parallel let us start work (design domestically or buy the British designs but with changes for IEC/EMALS) on designing conventional 65000 carriers (2 - in 5 year intervals) with IEC and potentially EMALS, if we can solve for power...then we think of nuclear propulsion once we get maturity with our 190 MW LEU reactors, whilest building 250MW HEU ones (will help with S6 SSBNs and Project Alpha 2s)...India (say by 2050) will need about 4 CBGs (2 smaller carriers and 2 mid sized ones should be good), while we focus on SSKs (36), lots (50) of Frigates/Destroyers/Corvettes in the 3000-8000 Ton class with VLS along with larger 14000 Ton (12) AIr/Missile Defense destroyers.
 
If French are ready to share their Nuclear Reactor technology & co-develop EMALS then this proposition holds some potential.

Sensibly, it's better for India to develop it's own Reactors & request US-assistanc for CATOBAR Designs & EMALS.
 
for nuclear propulsion carriers of the future with huge energy needs due to DEWs, we will need about 3 - 190MW reactors that too require refueling every 10 years...we should strive for 250MW reactors with HEU say 3 of them would be ideal - but we can't build such a reactor till about 2040, even if we start after getting the 190MW one in place (which is essential for S5 SSBNs and Project Alpha SSNs)...Americans are the best at nuclear propulsion but will not share with us unless we become an ally (even Aukus export control ITAR exceptions are taking time for Australia and UK)...Given all this we should build IAC-2 (Vikrant class 45000 Ton with conventional propulsion potentially with IEC), and in parallel launch design efforts for 2 65000 Ton carriers (again conventional with IEC and potentially EMALs) to be fielded starting 2035-2040, if not later...After these we may be in a position for HEU 250MW nuclear propulsion which may also help with S6 (20000 Ton SSBNs) and Project Alpha 2 (10000 Ton Class SSNs/SSGNs) in the 2040s and beyond...We don't have too much money, no one will readily share nuclear propulsion and indigenous development will take time - are the realities...We must put a formal NSS in place, before embarking and thinking about very expensive platforms with long lead times..
USN Nimitz class supercarriers use 2× 190 MW (HEU) nuclear propulsion that requires replacement of fuel after 20 years. For Bharat, similar Power plants will be sufficient for its proposed 65000 tonnes IAC-3 . In my view IN should have two nuclear powered carriers IAC-3&4 capable to operate in SCS and WP with preferable time line of 2035-2045 .
 
With a slight longer induction time for IAC 2 we should focus more on submarines.
 
What old carrier? The Charles de Gaulle is arguably the most capable non-American carrier in the world today. Vikrant, for all her advantages, is still less capable than the CdG is.
Has USA mastered technologies by collaborating with other European Nations? Not so.
Those who relentlessly work alone gain leadership not by looking for shortcuts that is so typical of Indian "Jugad" mentality.
 
Yes, and why not.. ; Mo Money for Frenchies. USA, France Israel, Germany, UK .. all are drooling over our reserve dollars cache. Maybe SA, Brazil & Aussies are also going to join in the fray and the run to take our money.. Sell us anything which is shiny & looks good in pictures. Secret here is Commissions for our Babus.
We need to develop our own weapons & be ruthless in achieving it.
 
The French maintains a good degree of strategic autonomy and is not swayed by American dictates. Henceforth collaborating with French in defense sector suits India. However in case of Aircraft carrier India has gone past that stage where it needed foreign assistance. India has already mastered ship design but also vessel construction as evident with not only IAC-1 but a good no of advanced frigates & destroyers Indian shipyards have commissioned over last 7-8 years. India has also mastered naval warfare electronics suite, naval radars & weapons package. Further India has successfully developed & built small nuclear reactors deployed in S-4 class SSBNs and working on mastering sme tech for aircraft carriers. Indian PSUs have mastered technology for speciality steels utilised in large carrier ships. PSUs are in advanced stages of developing marine turbine engines post non availability of Ukrainian engines post Ukraine-Russia war. The only gap remains in EMALs systems technology that even French lack in and will procure American systems from General Atomics. India was also offered Emals systems by USA and India can take their Assistance. Now coming to IAC-2 , the Vessel parameters should be decided based on current & evolving future scenario & strategic aims India looks to achieve. Now we assess rhe Eastern front and find that Chinese have not only achieved Largest Navy but also rapidly working to upgrade it's carrier force working towards 5 carrier battle groups with nuclear powered supercarriers by 2035. Their aim is to challenge Americans in Indo-Pacific and Indian Navy in IOR. The PLA Navy plans to deploy large submarine force & carrier battle groups through naval bases in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, Pakistan, Srilanka, Middle East & Africa to dominate IOR. Now coming to Western front we have Pakistan that has no challenge to present to Indian Navy despite of Chinese assistance, however one should foresee a new emerging threat that is Turkish ambitions in African waters and Arabian sea. Turkey has been engaging with African Countries for Oil & Gas exploration and deploying Navy. Turkey is planning to construct a 60k tonne aircraft carrier that may deploy naval version of it's 5th gen fighter KAAN. They may construct and induct such carrier by 2032-33. Together with Pakistan they may challenge Indians in Arabian sea and may be further. In such evolving threat scenario I don't find utility of inducting one more sister ship of IAC-1 nor a proposed conventional powered 60k tonne IAC-3. India should recalibrate ots strategic thinking and go for 2 nuclear powered supercarriers to match Chinese and mantain big supremacy over potential challenge of Turkish Navy. India can adopt by constructing 75-80k tonne supercarrier in first phase before constructing ford class 100k tonne supercarrier in next phase. Unless we adopt such strategy we risk to loose sea dominance in IOR in next 10-12 years.
 
It isn't old as far as carriers go. She was commissioned in 2001, which puts her at a bit over half of her projected 40 year life. Moreover, as I mentioned, she is still more capable than any non-supercarrier today.
The strength of an aircraft carrier depends upon on 3 things :
  1. Catapult ability to launch powerful fighter aircrafts (Rafel-M is equal to F/A 18 Super hornet)
  2. Nuclear propulsion for unlimited distance
  3. No: of fighters it can launch in 30minutes
  4. Amount of payload Fighter aircrafts can carry
Wat the hel r u saying Charles de gulle is old ?

It's the most powerful Non U.S carrier out there
 
Charles de Gaulle is far more advanced than INS Vikrant
I understand, it has larger displacement and has catapult launching and is nuclear powered , but it is of different era by two decades, our Vikrant is bit more modern, but both are non comparable specs wise and capability wise, but Vikrant satisfies our need for now, we still need a carrier with larger displacement, when it comes to conventional carrier, British are far more advanced with their hybrid electric propulsion, it will take a very long time for us to make a nuclear reactor that can propel a larger displacement carrier, so until then at-least we have to go British way, so we need more help from them than the French for now in hybrid propulsion.
 
No, they have one ancient carrier, even old and ancient tech than Vikrant, how can they teach us, may be we can teach them, no body needs to teach us anything at least in ship building.
Seems there are so many French Dallas here today or One Dallas Clone, they will sell GOI to France.
 
Seems there are so many French Dallas here today or One Dallas Clone, they will sell GOI to France.
it is just one Dalla who comes under different names but same content, it is always easy to catch him red handed, no matter in how many names he posts.
 
This is an utopian idea full of contradictions. French are hesitant to share its nuclear propulsion technology in submarines. Why will they do so in aircraft carriers? Let us enhance trust by making a 110-130 KN thrust jet engine with SAFRAN ,crucial for Indian AMCA and next generation fighters . Indian nuclear scientist can deliver on our 190 MW miniaturised submarines nuclear propulsion, that can be after slight modification , used in aircraft carrier propulsion.
Have they shared anything so far, forget about other things.
 
USN Nimitz class supercarriers use 2× 190 MW (HEU) nuclear propulsion that requires replacement of fuel after 20 years. For Bharat, similar Power plants will be sufficient for its proposed 65000 tonnes IAC-3 . In my view IN should have two nuclear powered carriers IAC-3&4 capable to operate in SCS and WP with preferable time line of 2035-2045 .
we need a 90MW reactor first and it needs to be very small and lighter, technically the more reactors you add,?it will become too complex.
 
Yes, and why not.. ; Mo Money for Frenchies. USA, France Israel, Germany, UK .. all are drooling over our reserve dollars cache. Maybe SA, Brazil & Aussies are also going to join in the fray and the run to take our money.. Sell us anything which is shiny & looks good in pictures. Secret here is Commissions for our Babus.
We need to develop our own weapons & be ruthless in achieving it.
Exactly, as the election is nearing, we will hear lot of noice from every Country offering different things with mouth full of drool, French want to dteal the whole treasury, it will be really interesting if BJ loose majority or loose, what will Cong do.
 
It isn't old as far as carriers go. She was commissioned in 2001, which puts her at a bit over half of her projected 40 year life. Moreover, as I mentioned, she is still more capable than any non-supercarrier today.
Obviously, more displacement, Catapult, unlimited range, good defense system, what else you need in a carrier, but in comparison Vikrant is 23 years newer, that is what I am saying, also it has more modern systems and it too has a good defense system in Barack, difference is limited range, lower displacement, skijump, nobody is comparing the capability here.
 

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