November 28, 2007

Will India Get USS Kitty Hawk After Its Decommissioning?

By Tim | November 28, 2007 | Tags: Northern America |

Apparently, there are talks within the United States and India about USS Kitty Hawk’s future. That future may be an Indian future according to an article at UPI Asia Online.

Elements of the U.S. military worry that the transfer might alienate Pakistan. The potential transfer is said to be worrying to Indian military segments because of a lucrative relationship with Russia and France.

USS Kitty Hawk is not currently scheduled for decommissioning, but USS George Washington will replace it as the forward-deployed aircraft carrier sometime in 2008. USS Kitty Hawk will return to the United States after that.

(Update 03/07/2008 7:26am):

Stratfor, a private intellgence group, reports that according to rumor, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was to offer the USS Kitty Hawk to India during a recent visit. The carrier USS Kitty Hawk is to be decommissioned, but I don’t believe a firm date has been set.

A transfer should be good news for those in favor of closer ties between Delhi and Washington.

Business Week says the rumor may have been planted by India in an effort to secure a better deal from the Russians for the Gorshkov. But the effort is said to have backfired with Russia hinting at a scrapped deal.

(Update 05/29/2008 8:51am):

USS Kitty Hawk is making its way back to the United States on its final cruise. USS Kitty Hawk will be decommissioned in 2009.

 

9 Comments

  • BILL DENTON says:

    NO KITTY FOR INDIA AND ALSO NO ARMS SALES TO PAKISTAN

  • matelot says:

    hey India: FEED your starving masses first !!!

  • QM2 (SW) MATT LENERVILLE says:

    IF THE U.S GOV DO THIS THE GREAT NAVY IS NOT JUST LOOSING A SHIP BUT A HISTORIC NAVAL VESSAL OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY!!!!!!!! I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT BECAUSE I SERVED ON BOARD HER FPR 4 YEARS AND ALSO I WAS THE LAST PERSONE TO BE HER HELMSMAN. THIS SHIP NEEDS TO BE DECOMISSIONED AND STAY IN THE UNITED STATES.!

  • USNretmark says:

    Narine is absolutely correct. The US and India have mutual democratic beliefs as far as having a multiple party system. Our (US) relationship with Pakistan is going nowhere as far as the war on terror is concerned. I would trust India far more with US technology (USS kitty Hawk) than trusting Pakistan with some older F-16′s.

  • slntax says:

    the problem is that there are no relationships for bribes like there are between russia and india. why would india take a “now working carrier” will no pocket money for officals when with the russians the bribes can go on for years and years at the expense of indian tax payer. while china races forwards to build a blue water navy.

  • William - USA says:

    It’s about time the US started building better relations with the World’s largest democracy. The transfer of the CVN to India could be the beginning of a new friendship based on common values and mutual security. Besides, US military hardware is the best money can buy. It works and is well-supported. The Indian military deserves to fight with the best kit and I think China and Pakistan would be less inclined to act aggressively.

    Narine is “Spot On!” I would ad that I think the US support of Pakistan is contrary to the long term interests of both India and the US.

  • Nikhil Tuli says:

    Well, Narine is bang on target. But also think what India will do with the 85-odd aircraft that Kitty Hawk carries ( including 50 F-18s), if the ship’s life is extended by only 15-odd years.
    The significance of the the sale, however , cannot be understated.India’s Navy would arrive finally on the world’s naval calculations and a respect that automatically comes with having American super-carriers.I would say that the deal would be worth the money if US asks for anything under 1.8-2 billion dollars.
    ADS,KittyHawk and Vikramaditya (hopefully ! ) would really make Indian Navy an Asian ( or even a Pacific to Mid-east) giant.
    Go for it India!

  • Tim says:

    Excellent analysis Narine.

  • Narine Singh says:

    If India could swing this one, then there is every reason to go for it. The Gorshkov agreement is in deep trouble, and even with the exhorbitant $1.2B additional costs, and however more would be added before the end of this ordeal by the Russians, who do not respect agreements, it may not be ready for commissioning until 2015. Therein lies the issue, i.e. $ 1.6 Billion and likely more, and India still does not have an aircraft carrier, and is not expecte to have one in the next 5 years.

    The Kitty Hawk is ready now, and with some refurbishment (over a one year period) at a much more conservative cost, will be ready long before the Gorshkov. Were refurbishment to extend its life by another 15-20 years, it is more than sufficient time for the Indians to retire the Viraat, launch their indigenous Air Defense Ship, learn to operate and manage a super-carrier, and possibly commission the construction of it second indigenous carrier. It would then make economic sense to abandon the Gorshkov, which would likely be sold to the Chinese for double the amount, but India would have the breathing space to develop its blue water navy behind the protection of a supercarrier.

    But there is Pakistan. O’ Yes, Pakistan the all-weather friend of China, and the non-NATO ally and “consummate terrorist fighter” and friend of the great USA. How could we forget to factor in the collective neuroses of this most important country. This is where the horse trading can get interesting. Could the US not ask from its staunch ally for Osama bin Laden, Ayman Zahwari, and Mullah Omar, etc., (who walk around Quetta, Peshawar, and Tank, boldly soliciting funds and recruiting suicide bombers for their next mission in Afghanistan)in return for not selling the Kitty Hawk to India?

    It could, but the perceived strategic depth that terrorists provide to Pakistan’s national security and “stability”, I dare say, is enormously more important than India’s possession of an aircraft carrier of the size of Kitty Hawk. In short, the US gets nothing from Pakistan but more terrorists, more suicide bombers, more duplicity, more heartaches, and many more hundreds of thousands of little boys being trained in their madrassas to hate the US, and to prepare for jihad against it. From India, the US would likely sell, not give as it did the F-16s to Pakistan, 40 to 50 F-18s for the carrier, and many more contracts to follow, for such a deal will certainly sour other Russo-Indian contracts.

    It is time that the US cut its umbilical cord to Pakistan. It is festering and stinks world-wide. The US will be blamed for any use of nuclear weapons on anyone, whether shipped to some country in a container by the ISI posing as terrorist, or whether fired by a missile or delivered by one of these newly minted F-16s. Yes, it was China that provided the capability to Pakistan to build nuclear bombs and to deliver them by missiles, but it is America that has influence on Musharraf and his military regime. It is America that is arming Pakistan with Perry-class destroyers, F-16s, C-130s, Cobra helicopters, BVR technology, sidewinders, etc., and who do you think they are intended to kill? Terrorists? No!. They are in bed with the terrorists, and protect Osama bin Laden so securely, that even the great CIA can’t find him. They are intended to kill Indians next door, and the world, including the US knows this.

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