INS Vikramaditya to be deployed in Indo-Pacific: Throughout history, there has always been geographic hotspots around which global politics has revolved. In the early 20th century, it was Europe, and in the second half of that century, it was the Middle East and Asia. However, over the last two decades, centre of global politics has shifted to the Indo-Pacific region. When the world looks for its interest in the region, India is the only country that is concerned with peace in addition to their economic interests.
INS Vikramaditya to be in ocean
As per the reports, INS Vikramaditya will start sailing at the end of January after a major refit. INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant will be the two main aircraft carriers to be deployed in the Indo-Pacific. The government is looking to procure 26 maritime strike fighters for INS Vikrant. The two prime contenders for which are Rafael M and F-18. The government will take a decision on the basis of the trial report submitted by the Indian Navy.
Till the jetty at Vishakhapatnam is ready, both the battleships INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikramaditya will be based on the western coastline. Both aircraft carriers will be fully functional until the end of the year. In December, the Parliamentary Standing Committee recommended that the central government should have at least three aircraft carriers to enhance the combat capability of the Indian Navy.
The committee called the necessity an “unavoidable requirement.” The large coastline and adverse conditions on both sides of the Indian peninsula are the reasons. The government in its reply to the committee stated, “The requirement of third aircraft carrier will be worked out on the Indian Navy committed liabilities and future acquisition projects.”
Indian action in the Indo-Pacific
Although the Indian Peninsula is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, India is looking beyond them. India is more concerned about the Indo-Pacific region. China is planning to make strategic presence in the Indian Ocean through three aircraft carriers, which will be patrolling until 2025. China is also offering naval cooperation to the nations in the Indian Ocean and its vicinity. One such example is the Seychelles.
It must be noted that Indo-Pacific is one of the most used trade roots, due to which every country is looking for dominance in the region. While most of the countries along the South China Sea and in South-East Asia are small, China always challenges their sovereignty. Although Japan, the US, and Australia are contesting China in the Pacific, the Indo-Pacific can never be contested by them without the involvement of India.
India is dealing with the Chinese challenge in the region through the framework of QUAD. India and the US, which held Malabar exercises, are now accompanied by the Japanese and Australian navies. In recent years, the Indian Ocean has been emphasised by the government of India.
In 2015, it was reported that the runways would be further extended along with the construction of a naval air station at Campbell Bay under the “island development plan” for Andaman and Nicobar Island. To provide a naval boost in the region, the naval vessels on the island are also expected to increase to 32.
Indian deterrence toward China
India understands the importance of the Indo-Pacific. For the rest of the world, the region is crucial merely for economic reasons, but if we look at it from the Indian perspective, we find that the concerns are not only economic but mostly security-related. If China dominates Southeast Asia and its country, it will get a gateway to the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, which is a real threat to Indian maritime borders.
Apart from that, India is looking to counter Chinese influence over the nations of the Indian Ocean. India launched Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) in 2015, which seeks to deepen economic and security cooperation with its maritime border.
So, in the crucial interplay of economy and security in the Indo-Pacific, India is boosting its naval capability to prove its dominance in the region. India is the only nation that China is worried about. In accordance with that, INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant are going to be the deterrent force for China.
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