Indian Navy Ditches Russian Aircraft Carrier Design, Opts For Queen Elizabeth Class Design

The UK is pursuing an opportunity to collaborate with India on BAE Systems’ Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier. (BAE Systems)

The UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) has stated an intention to support efforts towards bilateral cooperation on submarines and aircraft carriers with the aim to meet future capability requirements in the Indian Navy (IN).

The UKIBC’s 2021 advocacy report – published on 12 April – said the council intends to collaborate with private-sector and state-owned defence shipyards in India during the coming year to pursue such opportunities.

“We will engage with all private and DPSU (defence public sector undertakings) shipyards, with efforts focused on (the) design and construction of future warships and submarines, electric propulsion, indigenous carrier development, and weapons and sensors,” said the report.

The intention is aligned with a commitment outlined by the governments of the United Kingdom and India in April 2019 when they agreed to “redouble efforts” to identify collaborative opportunities in the defense sector. In a statement issued at the time, the UK Ministry of Defence said that the focus of related efforts will be in the maritime domain.

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A spokesperson from BAE Systems also told British magazine Janes at that time that the company had held discussions with India about possibilities for basing its aircraft carrier requirements on the UK Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) platforms.

“The design is adaptable to offer either ski jump or catapult launch and can be modified to meet Indian Navy and local industry requirements,” said the spokesperson.

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