Slashed by anything between 270-300 billion USD...so that makes it 9 times.your navy doctrine is coastal defence only
the cost is way out of reach
you have no plans to power project even in regional way. and navy is the only way to power project .
India power projects in indian Ocean from Sri Lanka to the Gulf states to Malacca straights,considering this waters of interest and trade protection for a 3 trillion GDP economy.
pakistan is one tenth the GDP and has no need to power project this far out
Slashed by anything between 270-300 billion USD...so that makes it 9 times.
In its latest report on the global economy, the IMF forecasts that India's gross domestic product will plunge 10.3 percent this fiscal year ending on March 31, 2021, the biggest contraction since independence.
There have been numerous discussion and answers on why Pakistan does not have an Aircraft Carrier, though most fail to capture the "bigger picture" as man known as Bilal Khan would say.
So why no Pakistani Aircraft Carrier?
One of the main reason’s listed are costs. Though this is true to an extent it isn’t the real reason. Thailand, a country with a lower defence budget then Pakistan operates an Aircraft Carrier which was used for the Harrier jump jet when it was in service.
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Yes, Thailand has an Aircraft Carrier
Another Question is what type of Aircraft Carrier?
There are only a few options, Helicopter, VTOL, Ski Jump, Catapult
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Helicopters: Many countries with Aircraft carriers use them for Helicopter only. Pakistan doesn’t really need that as the Naval Aviation Helicopters can already take off and Land from Pakistani Frigates and Auxiliary Vessels.
VTOL Aircraft: Well the Harrier is out of the question, it’s old and doesn’t really work all too well. The F-35B is a more likely contender. Though those are expensive and the US political constraints don’t make it a very attractive option……and it’s not that good either. Doesn’t really fit the countries defence needs.
Ski Jump: Many aircraft carriers have that ramp at the end to give aircraft the final little push for taking off.
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Though Pakistan (as of now) doesn’t have any LCA’s or heavy Flankers with 2 huge engines that can generate enough thrust for take off from a Ski Jump aircraft Carrier.
Pakistan’s only realistic option is a naval variant of the JF-17. Its the only aircraft in their arsenal that can be customized and upgraded at will. A naval JF-17 variant will need to be fitted to work Anti-Surface warfare roles. It will need bigger wings and foldable ones to take less deck space. The JF-17 needs a somewhat rather long runway for takeoff so a Ski Jump system wouldn’t work.
Probably the best option that catapult literally boosts the aircraft off the deck.
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In theory a Naval Carrier based variant of a JF-17 would perform best on this type of Carrier.
But who would supply them?
Pakistan does not have the infrastructure to build an Aircraft Carrier. They would need outside help. But who? Only 2 countries use the Catapult system. One is the US, though they don’t get along very much nowadays and they have very tight arms control for foreign countries especially those like Pakistan. The only other country is France, they use the catapult system too. They have in the past supplied Pakistan and it’s Navy with high profile arms. One other option is China, Pakistan frontline arms supplier. They too are developing a catapult system though are no where near in position for an export for a while.
Well as a nuclear armed nation it is only fitting that their Aircraft Carrier would be Nuclear Powered as it would be very beneficial in the long run. The best aircraft carrier for Pakistan would be one similar to France’s Charles De Gaulle. Nuclear Powered and uses the Catapult launch and from a top supplier.
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But why not?
It all comes back to the end. Pakistan does not really need an Aircraft Carrier. It serves no interest or purpose as of now and even for the near future. Investing in a Nuclear powered aircraft carrier would cost over 5 billion dollars. The Pakistan Navy spent that very same amount on 8 submarines. A much better choice.
You can see my Answer originally written on Quora here
your right, it all comes back to the doctrine and the missionPN does not need an AC.
Rightly put by Bilal.