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India fortifies naval arsenal with $4.8b aircraft carrier to counterbalance China’s maritime influence

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In a strategic move to bolster its naval capabilities and address the growing maritime challenges in the Indian Ocean, India is set to invest nearly 400 billion rupees ($4.8 billion) in acquiring a second indigenous aircraft carrier. Sources familiar with the matter reveal that the Defense Acquisition Council is poised to greenlight this significant defense acquisition on Friday.

The upcoming carrier, designed to accommodate a formidable fleet of at least 28 fighter jets and helicopters, boasts a displacement of 45,000 tons, underscoring its substantial size and operational capacity.

Notably, the carrier is slated to be equipped with the cutting-edge French Rafale jets, adding a potent aerial dimension to India’s naval prowess.

This strategic move follows the induction of India’s first indigenous carrier, INS Vikrant, into the naval fleet just last year.

Constructed by Cochin Shipyard Ltd., INS Vikrant signified a milestone in India’s naval self-reliance. Alongside this latest addition, India also maintains a fleet that includes a Russian-manufactured aircraft carrier.

As geopolitical tensions continue to simmer in the Indian Ocean region, this substantial investment underscores India’s commitment to fortifying its maritime capabilities.

The new aircraft carrier will play a pivotal role in enhancing India’s naval strength, positioning it as a formidable player in the complex geopolitical dynamics of the region.

This move is widely seen as a response to China’s expanding naval presence in the Indian Ocean. With both nations vying for influence, the addition of a cutting-edge aircraft carrier to India’s naval arsenal signifies a proactive measure to maintain regional stability and protect vital maritime interests.

As the Defense Acquisition Council gears up to give the green light, all eyes are on India’s latest move to secure its maritime interests and assert its presence in the strategically vital Indian Ocean region.

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