India launched a new indigenous carrier today, marking the steady increase in Asia’s burgeoning arms race,
reports theAssociated Press.
The INS Vikrant displaces 40,000 tons of water, has a length of 262 meters, a max breadth of 62 meters, two runways, and significantly extends India’s reach into the Pacific.
“India’s first self-made carrier, along with reinforced naval strength, will further disrupt the military balance in South Asia,” Senior Captain Zhang Junshe, Vice-President of China’s Naval Research Institute told state-run CCTV today.
India has one other operational carrier that it bought from Russia and refurbished, the INS Viraat. It also plans to have another indigenously built carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, built and operational by the end of the year.
The ships not only put India in an elite group of countries capable of building their own carriers — U.S., Russia, France and Britain (possibly Japan, depending on what they decide to call their new flat-top ships) — but signal signal of a larger arms race occurring in Asia.
Asia’s defence spending is set to top North America’s by 2020, and has already topped Europe’s as of last year.
Just last week Japan unveiled what it called a “destroyer,” but what officials called a “carrier in disguise.” The name of the ship is the “Izumo,” the same name of the heavy cruiser which kicked off the invasion of China in July 7, 1937.
Furthermore, the region has seen overall increases in military spending from China and Japan, while the Europe and North American regions have seen recent decreases — this at a time when President Barack Obama pushes his big “Pacific pivot.”
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