Making a strong recommendation that the Navy should have three aircraft carriers, the standing committee on defence has suggested that future acquisition plans need to take into consideration the requirement to enhance combat capabilities. The committee also went into the details of winter clothing for troops posted on the northern borders and bulletproof jackets for soldiers but the replies of the government have been deemed as classified and were redacted from the reports.
It has also suggested that the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) should concentrate on infrastructure projects along the northern borders and the feasibility of engaging another organisation for the development of coastal roads needs to be considered as an interim measure.
Making the point that a carrier each is required for the two coasts, the committee has said in its report submitted in Parliament that a third ship is needed to bridge operational deficiencies as repair work on the colossal vessels is a time-consuming affair.
“Taking into account the long coastline and hostile adversities on both sides of the Indian peninsula, an aircraft carrier on both sides of the coast is quintessential to uphold operational requirements. However, repair work of a huge vessel such as an aircraft carrier takes a considerably long time. Therefore, to bridge operational deficiencies thus arising, three aircraft carriers are an unavoidable requirement to meet any eventualities,” the committee has suggested.
In its response to queries raised by the committee on acquisition plans, the government has said that “the requirement of the third Aircraft Carrier will be worked out on the Indian Navy’s committed liabilities and future acquisition projects”, without committing on a timeline.