New Delhi: In a bid to add teeth to the Naval prowess, India is considering to procure three more French Scorpene. While China and Pakistan were bolstering their fleet, India will buy three Scorpene from France, and a separate batch of six is being constructed at the Mazagon Docks. The Indian navy is also considering floating tenders to purchase six new-generation submarines by next year.
“The aim is to ensure the islands are not only well protected but also act as a strategic location for basing aircraft, warships and submarines. The proximity of A&N Islands to Malacca Strait makes them very strategic since they overlook busy sea lanes and choke points,” said Navy chief Admiral Robin Dhowan on Thursday.
Admiral Dhowan also disclosed that six submarines armed with nukes were being constructed under the famous ‘Make in India’ program.
India’s first nuclear-armed submarine INS Arihant is slated to be commissioned to the Navy next year.
The other two follow-on SSBNs are in an advanced stage of construction at Vizag. “INS Arihant’s sea trials (which began a year ago) are proceeding satisfactorily,” the Navy Chief disclosed.
China has 51 conventional and five nuclear submarines and is on course to induct another five high-end nuclear-enhanced warships.
The Navy might be nonchalant about the Sino-Pakistan naval ties. But Islamabad had given Beijing the control of Gwadar port and it facilitated the entry of China to the Arabian sea. This is indeed a big threat to India’s maritime rights.
The US $1.5 billion deep-sea port in southern Hambantota built by China also indicates China’s clear cut initiative to spread its influence in the waters of the Indian sub-continent.
Reportedly, Bangladesh had also sought Chinese assistance to set up a deep-sea port in Chittagong.
India bolstering its naval prowess and modernizing its force shows that the Sino gambits have spurred the country to initiate moves to strengthen the force.
(With inputs from agencies)
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