India in race with China to launch first indigenous aircraft carrier

Special to

By Miles Yu,

An Indian Navy source has confirmed that the Indian government will launch its first ever indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier on Aug. 12.

Satellite imagery shows the INS Viraat, India's indigenous aircraft carrier at Cochin Shipyard.  /DigitalGlobe
Satellite imagery shows the INS Viraat, India’s indigenous aircraft carrier at Cochin Shipyard. /DigitalGlobe

If so, India would be the fifth country able to build its own carrier, after the United States, Russia, Great Britain and France. The question has been who would first join that list, India or China?

However, India’s carrier will be an incomplete, not-yet-sea-worthy vessel, missing some key components of an operational vessel such as the superstructure and weapons system. reported in its July 10 edition that China is building carriers of its own as well at shipyards in Shanghai or Guangdong and could make a surprise launch to upstage India.

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