India’s New-Old Carrier Goes to Sea

Let’s start this week off with a newly released pictrue of India’s new aircraft carrier, INS Vikramiditya, setting out from the Sevmash shipyard in Russia to conduct her first sea trials after a massive refit to get her ready for service with the Indian navy.

In a past life, Vikramiditya served in the Soviet and Russian navies as the Baku and Admiral Gorshov — specifically, as an ‘aircraft carrying cruiser’, as the Russians called her. As such, she was armed with a mix of  P-550 Bazalt anti-ship cruise missiles, SA-9 Tor surface-to-air missiles and the vertical take-off and landing Yak-38 fighters before being retired in the 1990s.

The Indians have paid for her giant missile tubes to be removed from the bow-section of the ship, freeing up space for the installation of a ski-jump ramp and additional aircraft parking space, making her look very, very similar to China’s new-old aircraft carrier, the ex Soviet-Varyag. She’s slated to be handed over to the Indian navy later this year and once in service, she’ll carry a mix o MiG-29Ks and Sea Harrier fighters, replacing the ancient British-made Viraat as India’s carrier.

Like China, India plans to beef up its carrier forces by fielding two indigenous carrier designs in the coming decade . Unlike China, India has been operating aircraft carriers for decades, giving its navy a serious leg up on how to best use the ships. Remember, China is expected to spend years using the ex-Varyag to master the skills of carrier operations.

Click through the jump to see a pic of Vikramiditya during her Soviet days.

Via Alert 5.

14 Comments on "India’s New-Old Carrier Goes to Sea"

  1. Everybody wants in on flattops today. Even the JMSDF has their new Hyuga class ships going now.

  2. Now it looks almost like an Admiral Kuznetsov class aircraft carrier.

  3. It was the Admiral Gorshkov…

    But on a side note don't forget to compliment their MIGs and Harriers they're also going to operate the HAL Tejas on them.

  4. If I were the navy pilot I'll be very concerned about that HUGE island sitting in the MIDDLE of flight deck!

  5. Mig 29's & Sea Harriers? Bit of a odd couple for a airwing.

  6. India……we rocksssss…….

  7. Indian Defence at itzz best !!!!

  8. That is one heck of a refit to remove all that hardware and add a ski jump

  9. Want to see the MiG-29Ks on a new pic of it. Be cool hope India would start coping it and make a fleet of them. Make china pee there pants for Indian Ocean access.

  10. mpower6428 | June 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm |

    you have to admit, its a nice looking boat.

    as nice as the MIG-29's and SU-27 varients are… i get the distinct impression that the early F/A-18 would have been a perfect fit for this hull.

  11. mpower6428 | June 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

    oh and how bout those ICBM sized anti-ship missiles…? good gawd.

  12. Hopefully they worked out the problems they had with her, totally rewiring miles of wiring, replacing its two massive boilers etc. Hopefully there no quirks. I think their going have challenge running that thing, it likely to be expensive.

  13. Ski jump carriers appear to be bow heavy and probably don't handle well, a good quality for flight operations. At least the will be drier in high seas (like the north Atlantic in winter).

  14. i wonder when countries like china, russia, and india start bulding their own supercarrier?

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