Navy demonstrates twin-carrier operations

New Excerpt:

The Indian Navy displayed its formidable maritime capabilities through an exhibition of twin-carrier operations during the commanders conference 2024.

Twin-Carrier Operations:

  • A twin carrier operation refers to a naval operation in which two aircraft carriers are deployed together, to maximise their combined effectiveness.
    • As part of the operation, MiG-29K jets took off simultaneously from INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant, and then landed on opposite decks.
  • The exercise was part of the first edition of the Naval Commanders’ Conference of 2024.

Naval Commanders’ Conference of 2024.

  • The commanders’ conference is an institutional forum that enables deliberations on important maritime security issues at the military-strategic level.
  • The inaugural session of the Conference was held onboard the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. Follow-on proceedings were conducted at New Delhi.
  • On the sidelines of the conference, Naval Commanders also interacted with various ‘Think Tanks’ during a ‘Sagar Manthan’ event.
    • The forum provided an opportunity to engage with MSMEs, innovators and Academia to deliberate ways, means and novel avenues to further Atma-Nirbharta initiatives and enhance self-reliance in defence production.
  • The twin-carrier operations also demonstrate that the first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, which was commissioned in 2022, has been fully operationalised and fully integrated into the Indian navy.
  • The conference occurred against a backdrop of heightened activity of the Indian Navy over the past six months, marked by events in the Red Sea and renewed piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden.

Significance of the Twin-Carrier Operations:

  • The exercise marks a significant milestone in the Indian Navy's ongoing efforts to enhance maritime security and expand its influence in the Indian Ocean region and beyond.
  • The exercise involved seamless integration of two Aircraft Carriers INS Vikramaditya and the indigenously built INS Vikrant.
    • The integration of the two aircraft carriers showcases India’s technological expertise in the maritime domain.
  • INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant, the centrepieces of the exercise, served as “floating sovereign airfields," providing a launch platform for a wide range of aircraft, including MiG-29K fighter jets, MH60R, Kamov, Sea King, Chetak, and ALH helicopters. 
    • These mobile bases can be deployed anywhere, offering enhanced mission flexibility, swift responses to emerging threats, and sustained air operations to protect national interests globally.
    • They provide assurance to India’s allies that the Indian Navy is capable and ready to support collective security needs in the region.

INS Vikrant

  • INS Vikrant is the first indigenously-built aircraft carrier of the Indian navy.
  • It is named after INS Vikrant, India's first aircraft carrier, which served the Indian Navy from 1961 to 1997.
  • The ship was built by the  Cochin Shipyard Limited, which was internally designed by the Warship Design Bureau of the Indian Navy.

INS Vikramaditya

  • INS Vikramaditya is one of the two aircraft carriers of the Indian Navy.
  • It was originally commissioned as the Admiral Gorshkov in the Soviet Navy in 1987.
  • It underwent extensive modernization before being inducted into the Indian Navy in 2013.
  • It is capable of carrying a mix of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, such as MiG-29K fighters and Kamov helicopters.

Way forward:

The successful demonstration of two-carrier battle group operations serves as a powerful testament to the pivotal role of sea-based air power in maintaining maritime superiority. As India continues to strengthen its security apparatus, the significance of aircraft carriers will remain paramount in shaping the nation’s defence strategy and promoting regional stability.

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