India will not have an operational aircraft carrier for the next eight months.

INS Vikramaditya, a formerly Russian vessel, is currently in an ongoing refit.

Originally built as Baku and commissioned in 1987, the carrier served with the Soviet and later with the Russian Navies (as Admiral Gorshkov) before being decommissioned in 1996 as she was too expensive to operate on a post-Cold War budget.

The carrier was purchased by India in January 2004 after years of negotiations at a final price of $2.35 billion. The ship successfully completed her sea trials in July 2013 and aviation trials in September 2013.

In June 2016, while undergoing a scheduled major refit of INS Vikramaditya, two people were killed by a toxic gas leak that occurred during maintenance work in the Sewage Treatment Plant compartment of INS Vikramaditya at Karwar. Two other people were injured and taken to the naval hospital.

When her sea trials were ongoing, a Norwegian P-3 Orion aircraft observed Vikramaditya. While in international waters, it flew close to the ship to take photographs, and also dropped sonobuoys to record the ship’s acoustic signature. The Norwegian aircraft left the area when a Russian MiG-29 arrived. A Norwegian ship was also seen to observe Vikramaditya.

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Still doing better than us!

No they are not

Where was our fixed wing capability at Libya time? Where is it now? 8 months without a carrier is nothing, it will be nearer 8 years for us.

I weep when I think what successive governments have done to our once mighty fleet.

Ryan T

You do understand that they have no Nuclear powered Submarines and only going to be developing 3 of them.


@Ryan Pls read this as India already commission its first indigenous nuclear submarine
Russia also leased one nuclear submarine for 10 years

I’m sure we could help them out, oh wait.

How you work that one out ?

Libya ….no essential need for a fixed wing carrier – SDSR2010 was clear what risks we were taking by removing our fixed wing carrier capability for nearly 10 years – I suggest you understand that. Libya was extremely successful from an air power perspective including the use of Ocean and her embarked Apaches. Nothing has occurred (yet) since 2010 that has embarrassed the UK by us not having our own carrier strike capability .


But is that more by luck or good judgement?

Plus also America offered us the use of a carrier during the Falklands. I guess if something major major had hit the deck we could have called in a similar option. Plus like David said the apache operated off our carrier very successful when needed.

Richard Thompson

Imagine how the RN feels? How many years has it been now?

Glenda Davis

It has been a long time between drinks but now at long last the UK is getting two brand new super carriers of the latest design I cant see it falling back from here its onward and upward for the navy and armed forces!

Allan Elder

Unless the electorate have a head stagger and elect Corbyn & Co!

Glenda Davis

He will never be PM of the Uk no worries there!

David Anthony Simpson

The U.K. Has had at least one operational flat top/carrier continuously available for decades. Yes I know it’s not had embarkable fixed wing since 2011 but such a continuous and reliable capability while actually often ignored is not to be dismissed lightly. We are now only months away from having a 5th generation world beating carrier capability at sea that unlike many other nation’s carrier capabilities it will actually work and be continuously available. While India has trialled its modern carrier fast air it has yet to deploy it fully operationally, and it’s outdated Sea Harrier Mk1 capability was retired… Read more »

David Johnson

Well said.

Glenda Davis

I feel once the QE hits the water it will speak for itself!

Indeed- Shocking and Fearsome are words that I think will be pertinent

Tony Cossack Not months away but years away before being operational, as indeed are the aircraft she will embark. Sea trials do not start until 2019. I presume the capability to which you refer is HMS Ocean, which, as a helicopter platform, is very able but cannot and does not fulfil the same role as a fast jet carrier did and will. Furthermore with the RAF having retired Nimrod by Government edict we also have no maritime reconnaissance capability: all in all a very sad state of affairs. I wholeheartedly support our armed forces of all disciplines: it is a… Read more »

Thanks for that detail of which I am fully aware. My comment of “months away” was referring to the start of sea trials early next year which in itself marks a significant stage in the development of the QE class. As for you other comments re LRMPA — widening the argument is not pertinent – and that gap is also about to be filled. Yes we will not have a full carrier capability in all senses until the early 2020s but it’s certainly on its way and we ate indeed only months away from having the ability to generate some… Read more »

Dave P


Glenda Davis

Vessels of this size 70,600 tonnes require a lot of work to fabercate and then all the testing also they are the first of there kind and lessons will be leart along the way, The F35B also all new with so much testing, it all takes time!

Jason Ruddick

They should never have purchased this ship , she was nearly destroyed in a fire and her cost to convert was over 2 billion.You could’ve had a brand new state of the art carrier for that money , not a 35+ year old one.The Russians kept on putting the price up during the conversion,at the time the US offered the Kitty Hawk for free on a Hot transfer if the Indians purchased F18 super Hornets, but rejected the offer

Glenda Davis

Looks like India got a lame duck & deal!

Steve Lee

Plus they seem to be having a lot of trouble with the MiG-29Ks.

David Anthony Simpson


Kieran Locke

The indian mod procurement record is appalling as is its maintenance record. We require no lessons from them at all.

Adam Jackman

Kieran Locke Spot on Kieran ,look at the Rafale fiasco .

Alan Radisic

Yeah. Migs having a big problem.


The price you are quoting included 45 Mig29K, 14 Ka31 AEW, upgrade package for 6 Ka28 ASW , establishment of training/overhaul facility for Mig29K, development costs for Mig29K, Russian support for establishing a Shore Based Training facility, and a support agreement for spares of 10 years , in addition to the carrier itself.

Tell me one option , where we would have had a 45,000 ton STOBAR carrier with a India Specific Fighter Jet procurement / development , Helicopters, Training , Spare , all included under ” 2 Billion USD “. ?

Jishnu Manohar

Did four deployments since its commissioning back in 2014. The only time she took a break during that period was a short two month docking to get her AD SAMs and CIWS. And then she got back to rotation and lead the fleet during IFR. So just like any other aircraft carrier she needs to undergo maintenance refit. And that too just for 8 months while she will get additional SAM VLS and also will get an emergency recovery net which she lacked. Now thanks to the utter BS ignorance of the media, we got ourselves a very stupid title.… Read more »

David Johnson

It never pays to try and do things on the cheap with complex military hardware.

Kieran Locke

Did you read the article? My guess is you didn’t due to your outraged angry comment.

Jim Strachan

Britain has been without a carrier for years !!

David Anthony Simpson

1978 maybe? Sigh

Raiford Atkinson

Only 8 months? We haven’t had a Carrier since 1979!

UK Defence Journal


Raiford Atkinson

We’ve had 3 modified Anti Submarine Through Deck Cruisers, not Carriers, built to carry Anti Submarine helicopters not Harrier’s!

Christopher Kent

Lol wtf

Raiford Atkinson

Check your Royal Navy history since the 70’s! Labour left the Royal Navy with no Carriers after the retirement of Ark Royal in 1979, the Invincible Class were heavily modified with a ski ramp etc… in order to operate Sea Harriers when it was realised the Senior Service had lost its fixed wing capability!

UK Defence Journal

Not carriers? Right. I stopped reading there.

Christopher Kent
Raiford Atkinson

Fact! The Invincible class were not designed to be carriers, but anti submarine cruisers with a through deck for operating anti submarine helicopters, they only became carriers because somebody noticed a distinct lack of fixed wing carrying ability in the Royal Navy once Ark Royal was retired in the late 70’s!, they originally had a flat deck but were modified with the ski ramp to carry Harrier’s!

UK Defence Journal

Yeah, everyone knows that Raiford but they may not know this word.

Raiford Atkinson

? Sarcastic Twat, are those two words in the dictionary? If you pretend not to know something then be prepared to be informed of the facts, sorry if it’s not allowed to be informative to others, it won’t happen again! ?

Alan Radisic

Carriers were through deck cruisers in name only Raiford Atkinson

Raiford Atkinson

Nope! the Invincible class were not designed and built as Aircraft Carriers! The Ark Royal retired in 1979, that was the Royal Navy’s last Aircraft Carrier!

Christopher Kent
Adam Burnett

It’s fine. We’ve been without one for years lol

Alex Barreto Cypriano

Quem tem um não tem nenhum.

Sam William

Khawaja Hamza Wyne this could be it!

Khawaja Hamza Wyne

haha #nukes #fuck the world

Richard Dellow

Oops did our aid cheque bounce? lol

Nitin Prajapati

Or you taking about your penuts cheque sir that our government is doesn’t want? hahah

Umran Sharieff

Wrong it’s 4

Jon Clark

Hermes was our last carrier, Centaur class.


I think ostrich people have forgotten that we have plenty of air bases around the world where we can fly fixed wing from atm, Libya for one, we used the Italian airbase but we did have the option of using cyprus