Parallels
3:57 am
Mon August 12, 2013

India Unveils Locally Built Aircraft Carrier

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 12:53 pm

India unveiled its first locally built aicraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, on Monday.

Here's what the ship looks like:

With the $5 billion INS Vikrant, India joins a select group of nations that have built their own aircraft carriers. Others include:

Britain's sole aircraft carrier is the HMS Illustrious. It is scheduled to be decommissioned next year and be replaced by the HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is expected to be completed in 2017. Here's the HMS Illustrious:

France also has one. Here's the Charles de Gaulle, which is nuclear-powered:

Russia has one, too — the Admiral Kuzhetsov:

The U.S., of course, dwarfs them all combined. It has 10 — along with the largest Navy in the world. Here's the USS George H.W. Bush, which was commissioned in 2009:

India's unveiling of the INS Vikrant comes a day after the South Asian nation activated the reactor aboard the INS Arihant, believed to be, as Scott wrote on our Two-Way blog, the first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine designed and built outside the Cold War "nuclear club."

The developments give India a much-needed ego boost in its rivalry with neighbor China, whose military capabilities dwarf India's. China defeated India in a brief but bitter border war in 1962.

China has one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which it unveiled last year. It bought the vessel from Ukraine in 1998. Here's what it looks like:

But China is believed to be working on its own locally built aircraft carrier. It's unclear when that carrier will join the Liaoning.

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