Question: What is the status of our third aircraft carrier ? Are we planning to have our own nuclear powered aircraft carrier??
Our 3rd Aircraft Carrier, better known as IAC-2 is currently in design phase. Indian Navy is in the process of deciding the detailed specifications of the planned aircraft carrier and is in the midst of selecting an international partner to help it with the ships design, construction and commissioning.
What is decided as of now is that the ship will be a flat top with CATOBAR configuration and big enough in size to carry 36-50 aircrafts including fighter jets, AWACS, UAVs, Transport helicopters and SAR helicopters.
Both Nuclear Propulsion and Integrated Electric Propulsion are being considered. The in house technical capability in designing a much more powerful marine nuclear reactor and the finances available to Navy will decide the final configuration.
The latest we heard was that Navy had contacted UK over its Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier design. Although no decision has been made on the design yet, they are front runners as of now. We can expect that by the end of 2023 the design phase will be completed and the construction contract awarded thereafter, depending upon the availability of funds.