Russia has offered its nuclear aircraft carrier, called “Storm,” to India for purchase, according to a report in Defense News.
The Krylovsky State Research Center (KRSC), a Russian shipbuilding research and development institute, has offered the nuclear-powered Project 23000E Shtorm carrier to India via a delegation that visited the country last week, the report said.
Russian supercarrier Storm news
The offer comes amidst the cooperation between U.S. and the Indian Navy on aircraft carrier technology.
India is particularly interested in US technology used in the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), the next generation carrier catapult technology. EMALS allows variety of aircraft to come on the deck including the lighter, homemade light combat aircraft and heavy fighter aircraft.
The Russian supercarrier is capable of conducting operations in remote and oceanic areas, ensure the operational stability of naval forces, engage land-based and sea-borne enemy targets, protect landing troops, and provide the anti-aircraft defense, experts suggest.
KRSC’s design for a future Russian supercarrier. The model features a split air wing comprising navalised T-50 PAKFAs and MiG-29Ks sputniknews
At the same time, the Modi government is looking to build INS Vishal, the country’s biggest aircraft carrier equipped with Indian-made aircraft and drones. It is India’s most ambitious defence project being build on a scale the country never handled before.
At an estimated $5 billion, the fully equipped INS Vishal may be most expensive piece of machinery in the arsenal of India, which wants to match the pace at which China is developing its aircraft carriers.
Russia has already overhauled and modernized a Kiev-class carrier-cruiser, renamed INS Vikramaditya, for the Indian Navy from 2004-2013 in which the country “gained valuable insights into carrier-building techniques through that process.”
The INS Vishal will be almost the same length as that of current INS Vikramaditya; however, performance wise the Vishal is far better than the Vikramaditya.
INS Vishal militaryfactory
China, which already has the 40,000-tonne CNS Liaoning, is developing a 50,000-tonne aircraft carrier. It plans to develop two more. However, it is not clear whether India will buy the super carrier or build it locally.