India: Naval superpower?

As we set sail in 2012 with global navy power swinging to the East, how well placed is India to emerge as the dominant naval superpower over the next decade?

The Indian Navy has 132 ships under its command, 14 of which are submarines. As we speak India has commissioned 49 ships and submarines which are under construction both in-country and abroad.

“49 ships and submarines, which are under construction, would be inducted in the next five years. Out of these, 45 are being built indigenously at the Indian shipyards, while four are being built outside India,” Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command, told IBN.

With India doing an admirable job on coastal security and anti-piracy operations recently, and with the induction of this new fleet, the Navy seems well placed to increase efficiency and tackle future threats. But is it?

Relations with neighbouring Pakistan and China remain frosty; if India is to secure its borders and maintain its influence in the region, it must invest further in its naval presence. Challenges from terrorism, piracy and Pakistan and China’s growing sea power will force it to.

According to the Deccan Chronicle by 2025 Pakistan will have acquired four frigates, six submarines, and a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from China.

Robert Knapp outlined China’s increasing naval power in his Review of 2011 article recently. “China, India, Japan, Australia and virtually all of the middle ranking regional powers are all currently engaged in dramatically expanding or modernising their navies. China has spearheaded this naval arms race, feeling that it should have naval capabilities to match its economic might. During the past year…………[click here to read full article]

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