Photo of India’s new Aircraft Carrier Battle Group. Better than China’s?

Few days ago we posted the first shot of China’s first Carrier Battle Group “built” around Liaoning aircraft carrier and characterized by many weaknesses.

On Jan. 5, the Indian Navy released some shots of its new flagship, INS Vikramaditya, a 40,000-ton 284 metres long and 60 mt high aircraft carrier.

On its way from Sevmash shipyard in North Russia, to Karwar on India’s western coast, the new aircraft carrier, accompanied by INS Trikand, a Talwar class frigate, INS Delhi, a Delhi class destroyer, and INS Deepak, the fleet tanker, has just entered Indian Navy’s Area of Operation in northwestern Arabian Sea where it met the rest of the Western Fleet, which includes the smaller aircraft carrier INS Viraat, two Delhi class destroyers, three Trishul class stealth frigates, a Godavari class frigate and a couple of offshore vessels.

In other words, few days after Beijing released the images of their first CBG, the Indian Navy has staged an impressive show of force consisting of several warships (and few Sea Harriers that appear in some photos) escorting the new carrier to its new homeport. Unlike the Chinese one, the Indian armada comprises some support units that made the very long journey possible: a sign that, unlike China, India is already capable to project naval power on long distances?

Vikramaditya is a Kiew-class aircraft carrier dating back to 1987, when it was a part of the Soviet Navy under the name of Baku. In 1996, it was decommisioned and the Indian Navy purchased the vessel in 2004 at an aggregate price of 2,3 billion USD.

The ship is expected to accomodate 30 Mig-29Ks; Russian Fulcrums have conducted extensive testing on the refurbished aircraft carrier before the ship was trasferred to India.

The new carrier will soon be joined by India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, expected to be commissioned at Kochi in 2018-2019.

Noteworthy, Indian aircraft carriers will be supported and defended from enemy submarines by eight P-8I Poseidon long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

Indian Carrier Group

Image credit: Indian Navy


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • 95 % of the ship brand new . Cost 2.3 billion dollar + 40 mig 29k 1 billion dollar .

      • China spent US$20 million for a floating casino and refurbished it into a aircraft carrier. India purchased a US$945 million for a refurbished aircraft carrier. After many delays, India was forced to pay a US2.3 billion ransom. India is good in wasting money. India is not good at negotiation. Russia has been cheating India because India depend very much on Russia’s expertise. The Sindhurakshak was refurbished for 2 years and exploded after a few month of usage.

        • Sindhurakshak was an accident that has happened not at the fault of the Russia. Agreed India did pay a lot for the carrier but is this deal not worth those billions of dollars? I mean we have china with their carrier, we need to show our strength in the indian ocean. India needed this ship and it needed it now.

          • The US should have given the USS Kennedy to India for free, since its being decommissioned, and set up a purchase agreement for supplies, aircraft, and training.

            • Even US give her decommissioned carrier, India still have to pay a huge cost for upgrading and aircrafts?, same treatment as the Russian decommissioned carrier. Please don’t be that naive as there is no free lunch. India should save her money to improve her infrastructure, education and sanitation. There are too many poor indians living in slums.

  1. Somewhere on one of these Indian ships, a gang rape was taking place as these photos were taken.

    • As if rapes dosent happen in your country ! This holier than though attitude will leave u nowhere .
      India will have 3 CBGs by 2025 ,second only to US . Indian peninsula is a dagger in the indian ocean . That advantage can’t be overruled!

    • As opposed to American ships, where they videotape the female sailors or the Marine Corps and US Army, where the women are more afraid of being raped by their own comrades than the enemy? How many American officers have lost their jobs or been disciplined for conduct unbecoming (e.g. adultery, fraternizing)?

    • Rapes happen more in US & UK – its our media highlights it more – and rightly so. Our media is free and democratic & highlights the dark side too in a quickly developing nation.

  2. Obviously, it is selfish and bully China against the world. Basically, if nobody buys anything from China, she will self-destruct with most of its rich and rich people fighting for money and territory. What a pity!

  3. Eastern navies, though they do have more RAW POWA! Their airforces are eh… They also tend to have larger and slower ships

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