Indian Navy Role in Yemen

India’s IOR consolidation.

Indian Navy Role in Yemen and Beyond Highlights Range of Objectives

India is increasingly using its naval assets to support global peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. Yet, as Sarosh Bana reminds us, that’s not the whole story. New Delhi’s ongoing investments in submarines and aircraft carriers confirm that sea denial and securing territorial waters remain its top priorities.

By Sarosh Bana for East-West Center (EWC)

This article was originally published by East-West Center on 28 July 2015.

As a regional maritime power seeking to consolidate its reach across the seas from the Horn of Africa to the Malacca Strait and the South China Sea, India is taking concerted strides towards bolstering its navy into a three‐dimensional blue water force. The country’s protracted planning is finally leading to the enhancement of its submarine force, augmentation of its carrier battle groups and reinforcement of its air power.

Over 40 warships are on order with the Indian Navy in Indian shipyards at a cost of over Rs2 trillion (US$32.3 billion). New Delhi, however, mandates the use of the military for national defense rather than for any offensive – or hegemonic –geopolitical strategy. India’s naval build‐up and maritime outreach are hence marshalled primarily for sea denial and securing territorial waters. But they are increasingly being used for peace‐keeping and humanitarian purposes, not only close to shore, but also across the seas, and not solely to safeguard the lives and interests of Indian nationals, but to protect other nationalities, friendly forces, and maritime traffic.

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