Mains Paper 3 | Security challenges
Prelims: CATOBAR, EMALS, INS Vikrant
Mains level: Not Much
- The Navy is likely to go with an advanced catapult-based aircraft launch mechanism (CATOBAR) from the U.S. for its second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-II), which is on the drawing board.
- For some time, India has been exploring the possibility of installing the U.S. electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS).
- The two countries had set up a joint working group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC) under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, which held several rounds of discussions
- The group concluded its 4th meeting in New Delhi recently.
- The U.S. has offered India its latest EMALS technology, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., which has just been installed on the Gerald Ford carrier.
- While the older generation of CATOBAR was powered by a steam catapult, EMALS uses an electric motor-driven catapult instead, which allows the launch of much heavier aircraft and also reduces the stress on the aircraft.
- However, the system is expensive, something that needs to be factored in.
- EMALS will allow us to operate heavy surveillance aircraft in addition to heavy fighters
- The Navy envisages the IAC-II to be around 65,000 tonnes and capable of carrying over 50 aircraft.
- While the Navy is keen on nuclear propulsion, which would give it unlimited range and endurance, its development in time seems doubtful.
- India’s first domestic carrier, Vikrant, weighing 40,000 tonnes, is in an advanced stage of construction in Kochi and is scheduled to be launched by 2018-end.
- The motto of the ship is Jayema Sam Yudhi Sprdhah, which is taken from Rig Veda and is translated as “I defeat those who fight against me.
- It works on a Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) mechanism similar to that in the present carrier INS Vikramaditya, with an angular ski-jump.