There were hiccups, there were slippages, there were criticisms, there were apprehensions. But Indian Navy kept moving relentlessly to it's blue-water asiprations, which in 21st century, are centered around Carrier Battle Groups prowling the world oceans, protecting strategic interests of the nation.
It took years of planning, sheer determination, sailing over numerous setbacks to come close to realise this dream. The recent commissioning, and expected commissioning of the following naval assets are inline with this dream.
Shivalik Class Frigates - first ship of this class commissioned
INS Chakra Nuclear Attack Submarine - commissioned
Talwar Class Frigates
Kolkata Class Destroyer
INS Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier
INS Vikrant Aircraft Carrier
By the time INS Vikramaditya will arrive in December 2012, it's escorts will be ready to accompany it for the maiden deployment. By the time INS Vikramaditya will be commissioned, it's Battle Group will consist of two Kolkata Class Destroyers, one or two Shivalik Class Frigates, one or two new Talwar Class Frigates, one Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine (INS Chakra), one newly acquired Replenishment Tanker.
Indian Navy is surely moving forward to deploy Two Carrier Battle Groups by 2012, one centered around INS Viraat with Eastern Fleet and one centered around INS Vikramaditya with Western Fleet. The information floating around in defence circles suggest, when INS Vikramaditya arrives, it will become the flagship of Western Fleet and INS Viraat will be moved to Eastern Fleet.