India-Pakistan: February 16, 2001


The Indian parliament has complained that the government took too long to refit the carrier Viraat and too long to buy the carrier Gorshkov from Russia, and has delayed construction of a new aircraft carrier (designated as an Air Defense Ship, to cost $362 million and take nine years to build). Viraat is just leaving the shipyard after a two-year refit, but still doesn't have the anti-aircraft missile system. The Indian parliament is concerned that conflict in the northern Arabian sea could disrupt India's oil supplies unless it has a powerful Navy (including aircraft carriers) to protect its tankers.--Stephen V Cole




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