Battle royale on ocean waters

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The exceptional budgetary allocation for the Indian Navy will enable it to modernize its existing ships and submarines and also improve its fleet following the increase in Chinese incursions into the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the rise of the Chinese navy. There has been a push on maritime security as a result of the current scenario and threat perception in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). It aims to bolster its reach and firepower as China continues to maintain an aggressive stance in the region.

The Indian Navy has various ongoing projects to enhance its capabilities and additional funds for this purpose. There is a big push on autonomy as out of 39 ships and submarines under construction, 37 are made in India. According to the Ministry of Defence, not just the Navy, but there has been a significant increase in the Indian Coast Guard’s capital budget.

“This improvement aims to build assets such as the acquisition of ships and aircraft, the increase in infrastructure, the establishment of a coastal security network and the establishment of technical and administrative support structures”

A sharp increase in the number of Chinese fishing vessels in the IOR over the past four to five years has also been observed. On average, 300 Chinese fishing vessels sailed the IOR each year, but last year the number rose to 450. China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean region has been a strategic concern for the ‘India.

Chinese navy ships, including their submarines, frequent the water under the guise of anti-piracy operations, intelligence reports suggest. China has expanded its naval operations in the Indian Ocean region and the Indian Navy is aware of its growing maritime prowess. They transferred a lot of resources from other arms to the navy, in line with their goal of becoming a world power.

N Sadhasiva Reddy, Bangalore

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