Indian Navy is undertaking massive initiatives to expand its might at sea to counter China’s growing abilities. As China makes its intentions of having greater influence in the Indian Ocean clear, the capabilities of the Indian Navy have to be raised and the same is being taken up on a priority basis.
Navy Chief Sunil Lamba made a very important statement on Friday. He said that India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier will be ready by 2020, and the ‘form and fit’ for the second indigenous carrier, which will have conventional propulsion, has also been finalised.
The occasion was the annual press conference of the Indian Navy, Admiral Lamba said: “Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is progressing well and the ship will join the Navy by end of 2020.”
On the topic of the second aircraft carrier the Navy chief said: “We have analysed it, and fixed the form and fit. It is going to be about 65,000 tonnes. It will have catapult assisted take off and arrestor recovery.It will be conventionally powered and we are going through the process of taking it to the (Defence) Ministry.”
The Indian Navy has a long and rich history of employing aircraft carriers. Its experience in using them far exceeds that of China’s which is of significant advantage.
The Indian Navy already has substantial capabilities at sea in terms of frigates, corvettes and destroyers. The one area where the navy needs to raise its strength is submarines. Along with the construction of aircraft carriers, India has begun the process of building 6 nuclear-powered submarines. This is a huge intiative as India’s existing submarines are old and rather depleted.
India’s primary threat at sea is from China’s submarines. India has around 15 submarines while China far outweighs India on this front with around 68 submarines.
Despite being far behind in numbers in comparison to the People’s Liberation Army Navy, India can outdo its capabilities because of India’s geographical advantage. As India takes up massive indigenous production of warships, the Indian Navy is rapidly moving towards becoming one of the top few navies in the world in terms of both numbers and capability.