Russia has offered India to buy its nuclear aircraft carrier “Storm”. The offer for purchase was made during the discussion of the transfer of technology for India’s future nuclear aircraft carrier, INS Vishal, holding between India and the USA, Defense News reported on July 11. A diplomat from the Russian Embassy allededly confirmed this information, and said that the offer was made last week.
The nuclear aircraft carrier, dubbed Storm or Project 23000E, is currently designing by Krylov State Research Center (KSRC), a Russian shipbuilding research and development institute.
“First revealed in May 2015, the Project 23000E multipurpose aircraft carrier is designed to conduct operations in remote and oceanic areas, engage land-based and sea-borne enemy targets, ensure the operational stability of naval forces, protect landing troops, and provide the anti-aircraft defense,” Defense News cites an anonymous Navy official.
At the same time, India plans to build its second aircraft carrier, INS Vishal, which will be nuclear-powered.
“The choice [India’s] is to have a nuclear powered carrier, technology for which will not be easy to get, and international help will be needed by India in the design and development of the super carrier,” Defense News quoted the independent defense analyst, Nitin Mehta.
A Kiev-class carrier-cruiser, renamed INS Vikramaditya, has already been overhauled and modernized for the Indian Navy by Russia. According to Nitin Mehta, they “gained valuable insights into carrier-building techniques through that process.” Now Delhi has still to decide whether to buy the super carrier or build it locally.
Meanwhile, India has also received the offer for the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) by the USA. However, this launch system does not include nuclear propulsion technology and is unavailable for the Russian carrier.
A joint working group on aircraft carrier technology cooperation has been formed by India and the USA. However, they still have not been discussing any offers for nuclear technology for Indian aircraft carrier.