Smell the coffee,the IN doesn't want the sub-std. NLCA which simply isn't good enough.
In fact,any single-engined fighter will be inadequate for maritime warfare post 2020. The range of supersonic stand-off missiles has dramatically increased ,China is also developing 300KM+ anti-ship missiles apart from western efforts. China is also developing a V.LR AAM with a range of a few hundreds of Kms. Thus future carrier strike aircraft have to be larger to carry a greater load of munitions,more sophisticated missiles and deliver them at far greater ranges than that of the NLCA,underpowered which means a far lighter payload,range,endurance ,etc.The Vik-A is a beautiful warship,well worth the cost ($2.3B) when compared with similar sized carriers costing twice as much,and far smaller warships today like the P_15B DDGs which cost over $!B apiece.
. By no means is it a rust-bucket. It has been completely rebuilt as good as a new carrier.When the balloon next goes up,just watch it perform against the Pakis. The issue of the MIG-29Ks must be sorted out by the OEM,otherwise penalise it! Surely there are in the agreement clauses that protect the buyer.Here are detailsfrom the IN's own website.https://www.indiannavy.nic.in/content/a ... ndian-navy
Some are quick to criticise the Vik-Acquisition for the well-known reasons of its transformation from a cruiser-carrier into a genuine AC,but why the deafening silence about our own IAC-1,delivery to have taken place in 2014,whose new timeframe for its induction has been shifted to 2023 (CAG),even though the yard says 2018 and the IN is hopeful of meeting that deadline.That will not include sea trials time,etc. CCS approval was given way back in 1999 and the keel was laid in Feb 2009,8 years ago.In comparison,the Gorshkov/Vik-A deal was signed in 2004 and the carrier inducted 9 years later.IAC-1 is also approx. 5000t lighter than the Vik-A.The final bill could be anywhere in the region of at least $4B+.carrier only,with the aircraft coming free,already delivered. We obtained the 29Ks at a v.resonable cost of only $32M a pop. Compare that cost with that of comparable naval strike birds today.The F-18EF costs a massive $98.3M!
You can get 3 MIG_29Ks for the cost of just one F-18EF.
US carrier strike bird debate:http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... wins-15670
But coming back to the req. for another naval strike aircraft. The req. is clearly meant for the second carrier,with enough lead time for establishing the aircraft in IN service well in advance,so that there is a seamless integration when the carrier arrives.The CNS has said around "7 years from now". If the aircraft is compatible with the lifts,hangar size,STOBAR launch of the two CVs that we would be operating by then, we could complement the 29Ks with them,The large number,around 60,indicates that they will be used primarily aboard one carrier,which will be IAC-2.Ideally,a stealth bird would be best,with the proven Rafale-M second.The success of the JSF aboard carriers will be known within the next 5 years.Costs of the aircraft will also play a major factor in the acquisition,as equipping a CV as large as planned,75K t,with 60 aircraft,EMALS,N-power possibly too,is going to cost an absolute bomb,anywhere upwards of at least $12B! Right now the priority is getting IAC-1 into service asap,and augmenting the sub fleet,which must be given the highest priority ,not a new naval combat aircraft when the second one is due to arrive at the earliest by 2020+,for which the aircraft are already available.