Defence Board discusses plan for second Vikrant-like carrier
According to defence sources, the Navy’s plan to purchase a second aircraft carrier similar to Vikrant was examined by the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) last week. The DPB has not yet approved the plan, nevertheless. According to a source, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which is presided over by the Defense Minister, will only consider the proposal after that.
What is the Defence Acquisition Council?
- The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is the highest decision-making body in the Indian Ministry of Defence.
- The DAC decides on new policies and capital acquisitions for the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
- The Kargil War in 1999 led to the creation of the DAC in 2001. The major goal of the DAC is to make sure that the military gets its approved requirements on time.
- The Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh at the moment, is in charge of the DAC. The Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, and the Chief of Army Staff are also members of the Defense Advisory Council (DAC).
What are the functions of the DAC?
- Approval of Capital Acquisitions: The DAC evaluates and approves capital procurement bids for the Army, Navy, and Air Force—the three arms of the Indian armed services. These plans call for the acquisition of new tools, platforms, weapons systems, and defense-related technologies.
- Setting Acquisition Rules: The DAC develops and establishes acquisition rules and standards for the defence sector, taking into account elements including national security, strategic needs, technological breakthroughs, and financial limits.
- Supporting Indigenous Production: The DAC is essential in supporting indigenous research and development of defence technology. It frequently highlights the significance of native defence manufacturing capabilities and promotes partnerships between Indian defence firms and foreign technology suppliers.
- Procurement Methods: The council chooses the vendors for various defence projects and sets the procurement methods, such as direct purchases, open bidding, or technology transfer agreements.
- Ensuring Transparency and Accountability: The judgments made by the DAC are intended to uphold accountability, fairness, and transparency in the defence procurement process. This is essential to stop fraud and corruption in the procurement of defence supplies.
What was the requirement to have another aircraft carrier?
- Operational Redundancy: Operational flexibility and redundancy are made possible by the presence of many aircraft carriers. Another carrier may be ready for deployment if one is undergoing maintenance or repairs, ensuring that the Navy keeps a consistent and powerful presence.
- Strategic Reach: Aircraft carriers considerably increase a country’s strategic reach. For a government like India, which has several maritime obligations and interests in the Indian Ocean region, it can project power and offer a credible presence far from the nation’s coastline.
- Response to regional challenges: The Indian Navy works in a region with a variety of security issues, including possible maritime threats and wars. Multiple carriers enable a more efficient response to local problems and unforeseen events.
- Holding Key Maritime Areas: Controlling critical maritime areas and chokepoints is crucial from a strategic perspective because of India’s extensive coastline and vital placement between the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. To protect these crucial sea channels of communication and secure these locations, multiple carriers can be deployed.
- Enhanced Naval Power: Aircraft carriers considerably improve the projection of naval force. They can perform a variety of tasks, including air defence, anti-submarine warfare, and power projection ashore, thanks to their ability to carry a variety of fighter planes, helicopters, and other equipment.
In conclusion, with certain renovations and alterations, the Indian Navy is thinking about purchasing a second aircraft carrier that would be about the same size as INS Vikrant. The Defence Procurement Board has talks during the decision-making process, and the Defence Acquisition Council gives final approval. To meet its operational needs, the Navy wants to keep a fleet of three carriers.