India’s ambition to project power

Advanced warship programme to boost naval capacity.

Naval buildup reflects India’s ‘ambition to project power’

The rise of India as a major trading and resource-consuming power has prompted the South Asian nation to expand its maritime interests beyond its littoral region, says defense analyst Chietigj Bajpaee in a DW interview.

The Indian government recently approved more than 16 billion USD to build advanced naval warships as well as nuclear-powered submarines. A major spender on defense, India is the world’s largest weapons importer. The South Asian nation depends on foreign countries, particularly Russia and the US, for most of its military gear. The reliance on imports reflects the inability of the country’s armaments manufacturers to make state-of-art equipment that meets the requirements of the nation’s armed forces.

But since taking over in May last year, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has barely hidden his desire to change the state of affairs. In a bid to kickstart the moribund domestic defense industry, the Modi administration has raised the foreign investment cap to 49 percent, and encouraged multinational arms companies to set shop and “Make in India.”

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