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.


  1. China – India confrontation is also heating up. India is setting un a “Mountain Strike Corps” in Panagarh focused on fast reaction for the (Here we go again…) disputed border with China. Six speciali operation C130Js have been order to support this.

    Now we are missing the Royal Thai carrier group family photo…

  2. I would show you the mighty Canadian aircraft carrier but It is a little covered in snow right now (is -50 in Canada right now)

  3. Better. Of course weapons, weapons systems, aircraft and submaire escout all make up a battle group…sheer number of ships means nothing!

  4. and experience in operating carriers counts a lot. india has over 5 decades of experience in operating carriers,and the mig 29k is defenitely better than chinese j15 at any given time.

    • The Chinese navy battle group have a lot more firepower than your battle group.

  5. India are an emerging power and they will certainly give China a run for their money and seeing as they are an ally of the west will make for an interest observation in years to come!

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