Philip wrote:There is a USN War study on the carrier in IN doctrine. A lengthy study.In short it questions the efficacy of our " light" carriers as the VikA and new Vikrant, in carrying out full spectrum carrier warfare as practised by the USN.Reasons are the foll:
STOBAR launch,lesser payload carried,range too.
Too few aircraft ( around 30 to 40 max) to undertake comprehensive attacks from the sea against inland land targets.50% of those serviceable will be on air defence duty.
The dedicated anti-ship aircraft of the enemy in prosecuting attacks against the CBG/ CTF. Equipped with LR ASMs, and supported by AWACS . This pushes the enemy's defensive boundary outwards significantly. The cost factor of a CV,carrier air group,plus escorts,et al., One could get 10 AIP subs for the cost of just one carrier,etc.
In brief, the best use of IN CVs are to escort and protect convoys of our merchant fleet,tankers,etc. and strike at enemy surface groups .Sea control. Limited strikes at land targets could be carried out with exg. aircraft using stand-off PGMs. The prosecution of enemy subs too and using the extra advantage of land based aircraft for air cover,AEW, etc.Interdicting enemy long- endurance UUVs on the surface and underwater.
The vulnerability of carriers from new supersonic missiles is another factor. Blockading Paki coastlines will be more difficult from now on,a task better suited to sub warfare and mining approaches.
Any new TEDBF will have to fit within the footprint of the 29K and lifts of our two CVs.There is v.little likelihood of the 3rd. CV getting the nod before 2025,given the Chin gambit in Ladakh and elsewhere.The IA and IAF will get first pick and understandly so.Whatever funds the IN gets will first go to the sub service, hundreds of ASW and LUH helos reqd. and hopefully LR supersonic maritime strike bombers.
Not aware of US study on carrier in Indian doctrine (!); there have been enough on carrier in US doctrine; from which the observations can be carried over.
The US and thus the USN has vastly different needs and context than India. Simply put, the USN uses supercarriers for power projection and was willing to pay high capital expenses for those large nuclear supercarriers. However at the same time, it was also de-facto creating presence capability with Ambhibious assault based wings (also part of discussion of navy's 355+ ship revisit) and has rehearse surge. Also US carrier kill chain disruption strategy does not copy paste over to India.
At the same time, India has little need of carriers for deep land strikes or as floating airstrips globally. And some of those sortie/power projection ratios can be tilted by smart force multipliers (eg stealth tanking, drones for the recon/intelligence portion of CAP etc, emals etc, longer range missiles or planes, naval awacs/networks) in general.