- On the eve of 75th Independence Day, Indian Ships will hoist the tricolour in 6 continents
- This is one of the rare occasions when the Indian Navy will be flexing its muscles
- Its strength can be gauged from the fact that Chinese Navy has not dared to challenge it
For a very long time, the Indian Navy has been a silent strength of the Indian Armed Forces. It is now time for the world to realise what kind of force they have to reckon with. The Modi government has taken on the initiative to highlight the Navy’s strengths.
The world will know about Indian Navy
According to a report by The Tribune, all 6 habitable continents, and 3 Oceans spread over six different time zones will witness the Indian Navy’s capabilities on the 75th Independence day. Our ships are taking commemorative visits to foreign ports. At these ports, a tricolour hoisting ceremony in the presence of Navy contingent, Indian diaspora, and influential local dignitaries will take place.
Navy ships will be visiting places like Muscat in Oman, Mombasa in Kenya, Perth in Australia, San Diego in North America, Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, and of course London in the UK. INS Chennai, INS Betwa, INS Trikand, INS Satpura, INS Tarkash, INS Tarangini and INS Saryu will be taking the charge. The ships will be opened for visitors like school children, Indian diaspora among others. Deck reception and various cultural events will be organised by Indian embassies.
Though the events are mainly aimed at highlighting 75 years of our independence, they will also showcase the Indian Navy’s organisational abilities.
Navy’s submarine strength
The Indian Navy is a formidable Naval force in South Asia. It has capabilities ranging from deploying its own submarines to destroying enemies’. Additionally, satellite based spying system provides it with a significant ability to track any kind of threat coming towards it.
Currently, India has 15 conventional power attack submarines and one nuclear blast submarine. 4 out of 15 conventional power attack submarines are of Shishumar-class, while 8 are of Kilo-class and 3 are of Kalvari class. Moreover, India is the only country after the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council to have a Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine.
With the capacity to remain underwater for an indefinite period of time, they carry torpedoes, anti-ship cruise missiles and land-attack cruise missiles. The Nuclear-Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine, an updated version of the Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine, is also under construction. They will be part of Strategic Forces Command. If everything goes according to the plan, then by 2030, the Indian Navy will have 24 more submarines in its fleet, 12 of them will be foreign made while the rest 12 will be made in India.
Anti submarine capacity
While submarines are good for defending our maritime borders, what if the enemy is eliminated a few nautical miles away from maritime borders? For this purpose, India has Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASWSWCs). As the name suggests, they are designed to counter alien submarines threatening our maritime sovereignty.
They will mainly conduct anti-submarine operations in coastal waters along with handling low-intensity maritime undertakings, mine laying operations among others. It can also conduct full-scale subsurface surveillance of coastal waters. If required, they also have the capability to engage as Search Attack Units (SAUs). This is the primary reason why they are installed with the capacity to lay mines in the sea bed. Icing on the cake is that it is designed under make-in-India initiative.
Maritime patrol aircrafts with India
To boost underwater capacity, India also possesses maritime patrol aircrafts. They are fixed-wing aircrafts designed to operate for long durations over water in maritime patrol roles, particularly anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-ship warfare (AShW), and search and rescue (SAR). In February this year, Boeing delivered the 12th P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to the Indian Navy.
These aircrafts possess exceptional maritime surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, versatility and operational readiness. Indian Navy is one of the few Armed Forces organisations in the world to possess P-8I under its armoury. Others are the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
Navy’s contribution to make-in-India
A particular feature of P-8I available with India is that we have not been fully dependent on imports. Boeing is a willing participant of make-in-India. Radar fingerprinting system, IFF (I/T) and datalink, speech secrecy system, mobile satcom system and wire harnesses are made by Indian partners of Boeing. Many of them are MSMEs provided with incentives under the PLI Scheme.
These are not the only contributions of the Indian Navy towards make-in-India. Our Navy has its own Indigenisation Plan 2015-2030, launched in 2014. Till April this year, the Navy had indigenised around 3400 items under Indian Navy Indigenisation Plan (INIP). These include over 2000 machinery and electrical spares, over 1000 aviation spares and over 250 weapon spares.
China doesn’t dare to look into our eyes
From the last 8 years, 78 % of Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) and 68 % of contracts have been provided to Indian vendors. Buoyed by these contracts, 39 ships and submarines are being built in India shipyards. Moreover, in principle approval from MoD has fast-tracked the process of 47 ships to be built in India.
This capacity building comes in addition to Navy already possessing 2 aircraft carriers, 1 amphibious transport dock, 8 Landing ship tanks, 10 destroyers, 13 frigates, 20 corvettes, 8 Landing Craft Utility, 10 large offshore patrol vessels, 5 fleet tankers and multiple auxiliary vessels and patrol boats. These are primarily the reasons why the Chinese have refrained from challenging India in the Naval domain.
In today’s time, for the Armed Forces being powerful is important, but it is not the only requirement. A country aspiring to be a global superpower needs to showcase the world its strengths in a calculated manner.
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