To the development of an effective, multi-ship carrier force, the Indian Navy is cooperating with its huge resources. Though, the Indian Navy would use that Force in the war with Pakistan but how it is unclear.
What problems will India face in taking the fight with Pakistan has been mentioned by the Naval War College in its article by Ben Wan Beng Ho. In this regard, India’s carriers would face huge risk in going under huge offensive operation.
Ho views that the need for self-defense, together with limited deck space, makes it very difficult for INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant to threaten Pakistan’s land installations, separately or for a tandem. The A2 / AD network of submarines, aircraft and surface vessels, makes carriers a reliable threat, making them very risky in aggressive operation by Pakistan. It is believed that if the war developed in that direction, then Pakistan could also attack Indian carriers on tactical nuclear weapons. Indian carriers will struggle to execute blockade near Pakistani ports, to destroy Pakistani surface fleet, or to cause great harm to Pakistani military targets on the ground.
In Ho’s views, the employment of carrier fleet has the benefit of enabling the nation to bring its entire carrier force to bear and in playing a productive role in sea lines of communication. However, there are problems of small-deck carriers which is described by Ho. The limited number of aircraft, self-protection, collecting resources from other military operations can be a problem according to Ho.
Still, there are some main problems: The three traffic carrier war groups to do the same thing is strategized by Indian Navy. But the purchase of the Indian Navy has planned to achieve three carriers with different capacities, which means that the actual use of the carrier war group in the event of a crisis is to start a career at any given time.
As Ho says, we have no clear information about the reliability of both the existing ships. INS Vikramaditya is an old Russian rudder that takes the controversial late-life changes into a STOBAR carrier. While Vikrant is a purpose-built STOBAR carrier, but will be the largest warship manufactured in India, with all the possible reliability issues, which are confused with it, both vessels are similar but not identical, meaning that maintenance and flight processes are possibly the resultant methods and it will be different which restricts the sharing of pilots and aircrafts.
Also, Ho considers the reports of readiness in the naval aviation program not up to the mark. The MiG-29 has been a carrier for less than a decade and the demand for combat operations has never been done for speed. Anecdotes from the Russian experience do not suggest any optimism.
On the other hand, Vikrant and Vikramaditya are good for providing important opportunities for learning, the Indian Navy may have to wait for commissioning of the proposed INS Vishal in the upcoming 2030s to keep a real aggressive capacity against Pakistan. By that time, however, Pakistan’s A2 / AD umbrella may have a significant increase in the pain.