The Indian navy is carrying on its modernisation plans to tackle the increasing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean Region. The strategically important region sees 80% of global oil trade and Project 75,75I will ensure Indian supremacy in the Indian ocean and other nearby seas.
Sixth Scorpene-Class Submarine is ready for Induction
On 20th April, Sixth and the last Scorpene-class submarine under Project 75, the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vagsheer was launched. It was launched by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar from the Mazagon Dock in Mumbai. Project 75 involved the partnership of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited and Naval Group of France. After the launch, the INS Vagsheer will undergo rigorous sea trials, and on successful completion will be inducted into the Indian Navy. Currently, four – INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karang, and INS Vela have been commissioned in the navy. The sea trials for fifth submarine INS Vagir began in February.
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A huge 43000 crores have been sanctioned for the upcoming Project 75I and it will be made under Make in India. The Submarines under Project 75I will be diesel-electric attack submarines with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system. Two players from India to build Submarines under Project 75I have been shortlisted and will involve a defence private player as well. The two entities selected are Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (Government) and Larsen and Toubro (L&T) (private player).
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In 1999 the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved a 30-year-long indigenous plan for Submarine building. The plan was run in two parallel production lines Project 75 and Project 75I with the transfer of technology (TOT) from different foreign players.
The dragon stacking claim
China is constantly pushing on its strategy of “String of Pearls”. Under it, the Chinese navy is occupying strategically influential naval ports near our shores and in the Indian Ocean Region. Moreover, the Chinese navy currently has nearly four times more submarines than India. To counter the increasing influence of dragons, India’s naval modernisation push has gone on a war scale. India’s Nuclear capable attack submarine and the might of the Indian navy have forced the Chinese to make an alternative route to the current Malacca strait. China and Pakistan have been working on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to reduce their dependency and avoid a bloody nose from India in the Indian Ocean.
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The indigenisation of defence after the Modi Administration has gained a lot of momentum. The navy is also working on Project 75 alpha in which 6 nuclear attack submarines are planned. The Quad (India, Japan, Australia, USA) has been doing regular joint exercises in the region and various agreements of logistics and communication exchange have been signed.
These all developments ensure that any misadventure from the dragon (symbol to represent Chinese state) will result in its doom and gloom. India is the only country to have an ocean named after it and it will ensure that it was, is and will for eternity remain the supreme power in the Indian Ocean. A power that is not seeking anybody’s territory and will always protect its neighbours, sailors and assist other needs of nations.