News / Asia

    India Launches Indigenously-Built Aircraft Carrier

    The Indian aircraft carrier is docked at a shipyard after its launch in Kochi, India, Aug. 12, 2013.
    The Indian aircraft carrier is docked at a shipyard after its launch in Kochi, India, Aug. 12, 2013.
    Anjana Pasricha
    India has launched an indigenously-built aircraft carrier, joining a small group of countries capable of building such a warship.The project is part of India's efforts to enhance its naval capabilities amid a growing regional rivalry with the other Asian giant, China.
     
    Standing in front of the 37,500-ton warship decorated with flags and buntings in the southern city of Kochi on Monday, Defense Minister A.K. Antony called it a “red letter day [a day of special significance] for the nation.”
     
    There was an outpouring of national pride at the carrier's launch. India's biggest warship has been designed and built locally, making it the fifth country after Britain, France, Russia and the United States to do so.
     
    The aircraft carrier is not yet operational. It will be fitted with advanced weaponry and undergo extensive sea trials before being put into service sometime around 2018. 
     
    But defense analysts point out that New Delhi has beaten its regional rival, China, in building an indigenous aircraft carrier.
     
    Uday Bhaskar, former director of the National Maritime Foundation in New Delhi, said it is the first time India has embarked on such an ambitious project.

    “For a country that does not have any significant indigenous capability, we don't make a main battle tank, we don't make an artillery gun, we don't even make a personal weapon. Forget about trainer aircraft and jet aircraft. So against this backdrop, to come to a point where you are able to design a carrier, and bring it from keel to launch is, for India, a technological and industrial accomplishment of considerable significance,” said Bhaskar.
     
    Defense Minister Antony said India needs a strong navy to defend itself and will press ahead with developing its maritime capabilities.
     
    Vikrant's launch comes just two days after India announced that its first indigenously-built nuclear submarine was ready for war trials. That was described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a “giant stride” for the nation.
     
    India's efforts to boost its naval capabilities come amid a growing rivalry with regional power, China.  One of the critical areas where they are competing for influence is the Indian Ocean region, a busy sea lane. 
     
    Rahul Bedi in New Delhi is a defense expert with Jane's Defense Weekly. He said an aircraft carrier will help India project its power in the Indian Ocean, which he calls a potential zone of conflict between major powers. “The navy is one of the principal riders and game changers in this whole region. So this will significantly add punch to the Indian navy in the Indian Ocean region, which is going to be a zone of competition for many, many years to come,” he said.
     
    India has one aircraft carrier in operation, and Russia is due to deliver another one later this year. 
     

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora