Washington has proposed the F-18 Super Hornet for the Indian Navy which could be used on Indian Aircraft Carriers. The F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation)
The F-18 issue, government sources said, came up during the visit of Admiral John Acquilino of the Hawaii-based US Pacific Command last month. Concerned about the rise of China, the US has been speaking about the “commonality of platforms,” meaning that it would be easier for the two countries to work together, particularly during times of crisis, if both countries had similar equipment, in this case, carrier-based fighters.
India has not got back to the United States on the Super Hornet, a twin-engine, multi-role plane, now manufactured by Boeing. The Super Hornet is on the US Navy’s aircraft carriers. “The US has been speaking with India about the Super Hornets. The offer was also made earlier,” a senior Navy official said.
China seemed to be the admiral’s primary concern when he spoke in India. He stated that Beijing was threatening its neighbours and had added that Chinese carrier battle-groups would be seen in the Indian Ocean in the near future. Admiral Acquilino had also said that China’s military build-up in the region was progressing rapidly. The Americans have been speaking about increasing Chinese influence in some South-East Asian and African countries.
The Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier, has begun operations. It left Guzhenkou earlier this month on a training cruise. It was accompanied by a frigate. But China needs more pilots with the training to take off from and land on aircraft carriers. At this point, they have barely 50 trained pilots.
At present India has equipped its aircraft-carrier, the Russian-built INS Vikramaditya (once the Admiral Gorshkov) with MiG-29K fighters. India is building another carrier, the INS Vikrant.
As Reported By Times Now