Indian Navy to berth new aircraft carrier at private shipyard

New Delhi [India], Mar 15 (ANI): Amid declining share in defence budget for its projects, the Indian Navy is now planning to deploy the indigenous aircraft carrier at a private shipyard in Kattupalli near Chennai.

In their briefing to the Standing Committee on Defence, the Indian Navy intimated that they are leasing a 260 metre berth in a private shipyard for eight years as an interim measure.

"The case for leasing of the 260 m berth at L&T shipyard, Kattupalli, for a period of eight years (2022-2030) for interim berthing of IAC 1 on the East Coast has been taken up with Defence Ministry. The total financial implications for leasing the berth along with 'ready to use' infrastructure are Rs. 30.48 crores / year + Rs. 48 crores refundable deposit. The case is being progressed for early approval of the Defence Ministry," the Navy told the Standing Committee on Defence headed by Jual Oram.

India has plans of having at least two aircraft carriers at any point of time looking after the eastern and western seaboards to look after the vast exclusive economic zone and maritime boundaries.

The Navy sources said the over 40,000 tonne warship would be deployed in Chennai as the planned base in Vishakhapatnam is not ready yet.

The Standing Committee also discussed the declining share of the Indian Navy in the defence budget and observed that Navy's fighting capabilities depend on the high value platforms like aircraft carrier, submarines, destroyers and frigates but the allocation of Capital Budget for Navy (percentage) wise has the sharpest decline.

"We recommend the Ministry not to make any cut while allocating budget for Capital Head for any of the Services in the demands to be made in the coming years," the committee said in its report. (ANI)