Indian Navy to position men on French aircraft carrier


New Delhi : The Indian Navy, poised to acquire its biggest aircraft carrier with the Admiral Gorshkov, will soon position its men on the French Navy’s aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to get exposure to big vessels and how they function, a senior official said.

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“We will position our men on the French naval ship to study large ships. This would also be an exposure for them in terms of how large carriers work,” said the naval official.

“The nuclear powered Charles de Gaulle would be good exposure for the Indian naval officials as there are many issues, like nuclear propulsion, involved in operating a large aircraft carrier at sea,” the official added.

The training on board the French aircraft carrier will begin in October next year.

A 45,000-tonne carrier, Admiral Gorshkov, renamed INS Vikramaditya, was to be delivered in late 2007 or early 2008 but this has now been pushed back to 2012.

By 2022, the Indian navy aims to have a fleet of 160-plus ships, three aircraft carriers and 400 aircraft of different types.

The Indian Navy has increased cooperation with the leading navies of the world, including the Royal Navy of Britain, the US Navy and the French Navy.

Earlier this month, the Indian Navy conducted a combined patrol with the French Navy off the Horn of Africa to understand the situation in the area.

In May this year, the Indian Navy held a bilateral exercise called Varuna with the French Navy off India’s east coast. The French Navy had fielded its Landing Platform Dock-Mistral.