A warship programme that must go full steam ahead
#GS-03 Security, Science and Technology
- Named after India’s first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant is the largest naval ship to be designed and built in India and has a displacement of 45,000 tonnes.
- Vikrant is run by four General Electric LM2500+ gas turbines on two shafts which generate over 80 megawatts (110,000 hp) of power.
- The ship plays home to Russian MiG-29K fighters and the Kamov 31 helicopters, as well as the soon to be acquired American MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.
To know more about INS Vikrant click here
- INS Vikramaditya is a medium-sized STOBAR-type aircraft carrier, capable carrying up to 30 aircraft and helicopters, with ability to act as both fleet air defence and land attack.
History of Aircraft Carriers:
- The history of Aircraft carriers dates back to the first world war.
- The Imperial Japanese Navy ship Wakamiya conducted the world’s first successful ship-launched air raid.
- The first carrier-launched airstrike was the Tondern raid in July 1918 when seven Sopwith Camels were launched from the battlecruiser HMS Furious to attack the German airbase at Tondern, Germany.
- HMS Argus in 1918 became the world’s first carrier capable of launching and recovering naval aircraft.
- As of September 2022, there are 47 active aircraft carriers, including INS Vikrant, in the world operated by fourteen navies.
- The United States Navy operates the highest number of Aircraft Carriers with 11 large nuclear-powered Carriers which can carry around 80 fighters each.
- The United Kingdom, India and China each operate two aircraft
- France and Russia each operate a single aircraft
- Italy operates two light fleet carriers and Spain operates one.
- Helicopter carriers are operated by Japan, France, India, Australia, Egypt, South Korea, China, Thailand and Brazil.
Categorisation of Aircraft Carriers
Aircraft carriers can be classified as light, medium and large/super-carriers.
- Light carriers are those ships which can carry up to 25 aircraft.
- The medium-sized carriers can carry around 30 to 50 aircraft.
- Large/super-carriers have the capacity to carry over 90 aircraft.
- In terms of role they play in combat, they are subdivided into fleet, escort, air defence, amphibious assault and anti-submarine warfare (helicopter) carriers.
- However, this division is often flexible as most modern aircraft carriers have the capacity to perform multiple roles.
By technology used to launch and recover aircraft:
They are categorised as:
- Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR),
- Short Take-off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR), and
- Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL) carriers.