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House panel apprised of collusive threat from China and Pakistan

  • Published
    8th Apr, 2023

Recently, the Chief of Defence Staffhas informed the Parliamentary standing committee on defence that Indian Navy, currently has strength of around 130 ships and submarines and while the target is to have a 200-ship Navy.

  • The shortage of funds and technology as compared to other neighbouring naval powers can become threat for India’s influence in Indian Ocean region (IOR).

About the Information:

  • Navy representative says in submission to Parliamentary standing committee thatPakistan’s maritime force projected to expand by 50% with help from Beijing.
  • The standing committee report highlights that in 4-5 years from now the Chinese Navy will have strength of about 555 ships.

China has grown from having 250 navy ships to more than 350 and become the largest navy in the world.

  • For India’s:
  • The Indian Navy currently has 143 aircraft and 130 helicopters.
  • In addition, 43 ships and submarines are under construction at various shipyards while initial approval exists for the indigenous construction of 51 ships, six submarines and 111 Naval Utility Helicopters.
  • Sources considered:
  • The number of assets required for various types of aircraft is calculated based on Indian Navy’s envisaged tasks and missions, available surface assets, areas of interest and other factors, as promulgated in the Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) 2012-27.
  • Hence, it is absolutely imperative that Indian Navy expand its capability.

Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) 2012-27:

  • Acquisition of weapons and equipment for defence forces is carried out as per Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), and as per Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), Service Capital Acquisition Plan (SCAP) and Annual Acquisition Plan (AAP).
  • Capital Procurement for Defence is currently being progressed as per the current LTIPP (2012-27) and AAP (2014-2016).

How China is expanding its naval power?

  • China has set up a military base in Djibouti and has developed several dual use ports in the IOR in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan among other countries.
  • Beijing is increasing its military presence around the self-governing island of Taiwan, seeking new security agreements with Pacific islands, and building artificial islands in disputed waters to fortify its territorial claims in the South China Sea, which the US and its allies have challenged.

India’s naval power:

  • The first of the Leander Class warships (Nilgiri) was laid in the 1960s era.
  • In the mid-80s-90s, two submarines under license from HDW, Germany were constructed at MDL, and were followed by six more modern submarines constructed in collaboration with French companies in recent times.
  • Also, the on-going nuclear submarine programme is of national prestige and BARC supplied indigenous nuclear power plant may be considered as first of the steps towards an indigenous nuclear powered submarine fleet in coming decades.
  • Recently, the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1) ‘Vikrant ‘has commissioned.
  • The Naval UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) or NUAS and Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) are part of the future unmanned systems planned to be deployed by India.

India’s Policy for Indo-pacific includes a rules Based order for all and seeks to guarantee freedom of navigation, protect choke points, end conflicts amicably, and confront unconventional security concerns in the Indian Ocean region (IOR).

Concerns for India:

  • Chinese expansion in Indian Ocean Region (IOR):
  • Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) began in 2008 under the garb of anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the country have since maintained continuous presence in the region, even deploying nuclear attack submarines (SSN) on occasions.
  • Pakistan’s misdeeds with the help of China:
  • Beijing has also committed to deliver eight Chinese submarines to Pakistan as part of its plan to modernize the Pakistan Navy.
  • The Chinese-made J-10 fighter, which is part of China's naval arm, can be used by the Pakistan Navy to carry out maritime operations in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Suggestive measures:

  • To counter emerging threats, a balanced built-up of the Navy is required whether it is ships, submarines or aircraft which can only be enabled by sustainably assured funding.
  • The committee in this regard want to state that the Ministry should assess the threat perception which has increased many folds in view of hostile nations in the neighbourhood and the increase in trade in the Indian Ocean Region.
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