Bush Makes India An Offer It Can't Refuse

The soon-to-be-decommissioned U.S.S. Kitty Hawk (CV-63) may have found new life in the Indian Navy. George W. Bush has offered the Kitty Hawk free to India, if they purchase 65 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to go with it.

This follows on the tail of a failed deal by Russia:

India was to be given an older-generation aircraft carrier, the Admiral Gorshkov, for free, but would have to pay $700 million for a refit of the vessel, plus they would have to purchase the MiG-29Ks and eight naval helicopters for another $800 million. India was also offered options to purchase an additional 30 MiG-29Ks and upgrades to Indian port facilities in order to dock and service the Gorshkov for a total of another $1.5 billion. But, the program has proven to be overly ambitious and has run into a number of snags that threaten to derail a decades-long symbiotic relationship.

This an important chapter in the ongoing realignment of India away from Russia toward the U.S. Come on now . . . a proven carrier design, with the very best in naval aircraft to go with it?

Just don't rename it the Gandhi.

P.S. Launched in 1960, the USSKitty Hawk is the only conventionally-fueled carrier in the Navy, and the Navy's second-longest serving ship (the U.S.S. Constitution, at 209 years old, is still on active status. Who knew?).

1 comment:

Chris said...

I knew, having been there a couple of years ago. That's why the tour guides are active duty sailors.