INS Vishal (Sanskrit: Vishal “giant” (IAC-II) is the follow-on class of aircraft carrier currently in its design phase, which will be built by Cochin Shipyard Limited for the Indian Navy. It is intended to be the first supercarrier to be built in India. The proposed design of the second carrier-class will be a new design, featuring significant changes from INS Vikrant (IAC-I), including an increase displacement and proposals to incorporate nuclear propulsion. An EMALS CATOBAR system is also under consideration, and could be used to launch heavier aircraft like larger fighters, AEW (airborne early-warning) aircraft and Mid-Air Refueling Tankers.
Design and development
In April 2011, Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma stated that construction of the second carrier was some years away as there were a number of higher spending priorities for the navy. The design stage of IAC-II began in 2012, and was undertaken by the navy’s Naval Design Bureau. The navy decided not to seek outside help in preparing the design concept and implementation plans, but might seek help from the Russian Design Bureau later to integrate Russian aircraft into Vishal. IAC-II is proposed to be a flat-top carrier with a displacement of 65,000 tonnes and might have a CATOBAR system, unlike the STOBAR system on IAC-I. On 13 May 2015, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) allotted Rs.30 crore for initial construction planning process of INS Vishal.
Indian Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Dhowan said: “All options are open for the second indigenous aircraft carrier. Nothing has been ruled out. It could be nuclear powered. Indian Government signed an agreement with United States to form a Carrier Working group to identify areas of collaboration and they first met in August 2015.
The Indian Navy has reached out to four international defence companies for suggestions with the design of Vishal. The letters of request (LoR) were sent to British firm BAE Systems, French firm DCNS, American firm Lockheed Martin and Russian firm Rosoboronexport on July 15, 2015 , according to a report in Jane’s Navy International. The letter asks the companies to “provide technical and costing proposals” for the IAC-II program.