India will not be able to take delivery of aircraft carrier Vikrant due to delays in securing aviation equipment for the ship, according to local media.

INS Vikrant is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India.

The Financial Express cited Indian Defence Minister Sripad Naik as saying that “issues with the delivery of aviation equipment from Russia” was the cause. However, Russian media outlet TASS later quoted an ‘anonymous Russian source’ saying Moscow has yet to receive any order for new MiG-29K carrier-borne fighters.

“Russia is waiting for a request from the Indian Defense Ministry for the delivery of deck-based MiG-29K fighters for the Vikrant. That is why, it is not quite correct to claim that the delivery of the aircraft carrier to the Indian Navy is being delayed because of Russia. The Indian side has not yet issued even a call to bid in a tender for the supply of deck-based aircraft, although the Indian side made the relevant inquiry back in 2017.”

So it’s somewhat unclear what is actually happening.

The ship’s completion and commissioning had been delayed several times. She was originally intended to be delivered in December 2010 and commissioned in 2016. This however was later postponed, with sea trials to begin in 2017 and commissioning planned for 2018.

Now, should all go to plan, Vikrant will be fully operational by 2022.

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Peter E

That would be the second country (that’s not the UK) building a “Carrier without planes”

Maybe some of our Scottish friends would like to give them and Turkey the benefit of their copious advice on this subject?

Mr Bell

Not sure it’s just Scottish people who have a distinct lack of military awareness or procurement, bringing into service and commissioning issues. There are plenty of arm chair generals who know diddly squat. I personally would be happier if the UK got on and built the type 31s, type 26s and astute class with a bit more urgency and confirmed an order for at least another 48 f35bs and another 5-7 Poseidon. Then I would sleep a lot better at night. Dominic Cummings is right we have gone from having armed forces in the 1980s and 1990s that offered a… Read more »


Cummings needs to put his money where his mouth is and ensure the next defence review addresses all the issues including funding. He’s dead right in the Bangs for bucks, we have one obsolete anti-ship missile for the Navy and even then no where near enough. Plus we’re building an over-sized Corvette with a pitiful if not shamefull armament. Come on Dom – do something about it!!

Meirion X

Order 19 sets of NSM, for T31s, T23s and T45s.


Order a Large Supply of LRASM , put it on all our surface ships and on F35B and P8


From my understanding a further 30 have been ordered.


It’s the reserve that gets me! What happens in a major war when we loose say hundreds of our tanks! We don’t have tanks to replace the ones lost. But I fear there’s smaller items like missiles that we couldn’t replace quick enough!

Meirion X

Here, Here!


Vikrant looks like a Hermes on steroids. Many similar features esp the bow area. Just saying and why not.

Paul T

It would make an interesting comparison with PLAN’s Shandong,seeing as both are basically Reverse Engineered First Home Built versions of their Russian Forebears.


The new INS Vikrant doesn’t really share much design wise with the Project 11435 Kuznetsov Class, it is a new design developed with the help of Fincantieri of Italy and Nevskoye Design Bureau of Russia.


The bow looks like Russian, the side and structure like Cavour.


Don’t you order critical parts first. Indians suck

Glass Half Full

With tongue firmly planted in cheek … perhaps the Indians were after Russian planes that can actually land on a carrier versus in the sea, and after the last Russian excursion to Syria by Kuznetsov, the Indians felt there was a gap in the spec?

Ryan Connelly

Somewhat concerned about the amount of kit India is getting from Russia. Considering it’s geographical position a Russia aligned India seems to be something we should be worried about?


I wouldn’t be too worried, India has for may decades enjoyed friendly relations with both the West and the Russians / Soviets. By playing both sides off against each other they have always managed to drive a hard bargain and acquire an advanced and effective arsenal for their area of the world. One example would be in 1987 when the Indian navy bought HMS Hermes, that same year they purchased a nuclear submarine from the Soviet Union. The IAF has had and continues to have a diverse inventory: Hunters, Vampires, Jaguars, Mig-21’s, Antonov’s etc. They just want a good product… Read more »


You look at the number of professional Indians in the UK, USA particularly and Canada and particularly how well they are doing in those societies, and you just think that culturally, India is much better aligned to the west. India props up the US universities system in terms of course fees and STEM research, you could probably say the same for the UK too


There is also the proxy rivalry, Russia supplying arms to India because China has been supplying them to Pakistan to use it as a buffer state.

Led to a pretty intense arms race on the Indian subcontinent.


That’s Russia for you, they talk the talk but can barely walk the walk.


Indian Navy is in the process of purchasing 57 aircraft – MRCBF. Mig 29k, Rafale M and F18SH are the contenders. However, since the bid was initiated, the Tejas has recently been doing tests for ramp take off and arrestor landing. So the Tejas which was originally deemed unsuitable, may be considered the longer this process drags on. Indian tenders just take a long time, look at MMRCA 2.0 still ongoing a decade later. In the meantime, Indian Navy already has 2 squadrons of Mig29K for the carrier INS Vikramaditya, so they can transfer the squadrons from carrier to… Read more »


In terms of chaotic procurement the UK is a world leader,


India has a much larger escort force than our RN & yet she equips the INS Vikrant with a 4-tier AA/anti-missile self-defence. If only we would remember the lessons we learnt at huge cost in the past & give our ships the necessary kit rather than playing Russian roulette with our precious few ships & crews.
It should be in some way comforting that the Indian navy has its own lunicies, but it doesn’t comfort me at all.

David Flandry

The lack of aviation equipment is definitely a negative factor for an aircraft carrier.