Indian Navy: Running silent, running deep!

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by bhramos, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

    Mar 21, 2009
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    Last week, the Indian Navy commissioned a nuclear powered submarine called INS Chakra. The 8,000 ton vessel built by Russia has been taken on lease for a 10 year period, at a cost of almost $1 billion. The new submarine will be added to the fleet of 14 aging Indian submarines. It will be armed with 300 km range Klub-S land attack cruise missiles and advanced torpedoes. The submarine will be based at Visakhapatnam along the Bay of Bengal.

    According to the Indian Defense Ministry, INS Chakra "will be deadly hunter-killer of enemy submarines and warships." It will also provide protection to fleets at sea. The vessel is as sophisticated as the latest US submarines as regard its sound effect and capacity to stay under the sea for a very long period.

    It is curious that India is arming itself with offensive naval platforms and military assets. To many, this may seem unusual for a country that is committed to world peace. But analysts say this is part of a regional effort against any other hostile mega power, especially in the Asia-Pacific.

    To begin with, an alliance of countries, known as the "axis of democracies," is being formed. Here, India is being joined by the US, Japan and Australia.

    Let us take a closer look at what is happening around us in the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.

    Last May, Japan and Australia signed the Japan-Australia Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA). It calls for reciprocal provision of goods and services during joint exercises, peace keeping operations, relief activities, etc. This is the second ACSA after the one Japan signed with the USA.

    But before that, in April last year, the Japanese defense minister visited India and held the second Japan-India Defense Ministerial meeting. Among other things, it was agreed that joint exercises, staff talks, exchanges in various fields and various levels would take place.

    In the meantime, the US is busy putting together the bricks and mortar to form a new security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region.

    The concern of the US is mainly the sea "choke points" -- the narrow channels along widely used global sea routes. They are a critical part of the global energy security due to the high volume of oil passing through the narrow straits. Two such "choke points" are the Strait of Hormuz leading out to the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Malacca linking the Indian and the Pacific oceans. On the south eastern end of the Malacca Strait it flows into the South China Sea where the resource rich Spratly islands are contested between China and several members of the Association of South East Asian nations (Asean). In Hormuz, the US directly faces Iran, which is ready to close the Strait if US pressure through economic sanction due to its nuclear programme increases.

    Thus, last October, the then US Defense Secretary Gates met with the Japanese defense minister at the Asian Defense Ministers meeting in Hanoi and reiterated that their countries would jointly respond in line with a bilateral security pact towards stability in areas in the East China Sea, covering disputes between China and Japan. It may be mentioned that there is complete inter-operability between the navies of the US and Japan.

    Relations between the Indian and Australian navies have grown in strength recently. Australia sees India as her "extended neighbourhood." Naval exchange ship visits and exercises are becoming frequent. Australia has agreed in principle to sell uranium to India in a major policy reversal.

    The US has also tied up with India through consolidating a strategic partnership. In October 2011, the US army participated in the latest and the largest of Yudh Abhyas (training for war) games with India. The US has also been joining annual naval exercises named Malabar with India. It has now included Canada, Australia, Japan, and Singapore. In 2007, Malabar naval exercise was held in the Bay of Bengal close to the Bangladesh shores, with more than 25 warships from five nations.

    By participating in a big power game in the Indian Ocean, India may be putting itself at odds with other countries that do not see eye-to-eye with it on strategic matters. India, it is suggested, should first engage China and quickly demarcate their northern land borders so as to increase mutual trust and reduce the possibility of any conflict with China.

    Recently, in the 15th meeting between India and China on the border issue, a "working mechanism for consultation and coordination" only was agreed upon. The process of border demarcation continues to be stalled as there is little confidence between the two. India and China are two large trading partners, but this in no way seems to overcome the distrust that exists between them. India's participation with the US, Australia and Japan to contain China through their navies may acerbate the situation.

    In 2011, India had invested over $36 billion in its military. It is rapidly modernising its armed forces and building a missile defense system and nuclear triad delivery systems. The country will be investing more than $112 billion in sophisticated arms and battle platforms before 2016.

    So how do India's small neighbours like Bangladesh see these developments?

    Bangladesh has since 2009 been undertaking joint military exercises with India to combat terrorism. It has also being testing combat zone tactics together. India is also now thinking of supplying Bangladesh with military equipment. This is in addition to what Bangladesh buys from China, which, ironically is seen as militarily hostile to India.

    In spite of all this, Bangladesh as well as other small nations along the Indian littoral, who use the sea lanes for trade and energy supplies, will remain uncomfortable with the Indian navy patrolling the deep seas ever so quietly and inconspicuously. They would also be worried to see a Nato-like force emerge in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, comprising of the US, Japan, India and Australia, to jointly confront China or other powers.

    The acquisition of INS Chakra points towards such a possible development in the future.
    first i felt read it, but i got to know its just BS from Paki
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    If they don't know where the IN is quietly patrolling, then they will not be uncomfortable.
    W.G.Ewald likes this.
  4. Apollyon

    Apollyon Führer Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2011
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    :hmm: ...Democracy ...that Pakis can only dream off
  5. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

    Feb 17, 2009
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    Pakistan is part of "Axis of evil" with China, Iran and North Korea as its other partners.
    spikey360, W.G.Ewald and Koovie like this.
  6. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Sep 28, 2011
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    North Carolina, USA
    The article title echoes that of the book by Commander Beach, which is an excellent read.

    (My uncle was a surgeon in the USN submarine service during WWII. He was a member of the prize crew on U-505 after it was captured.)
    Keshav Murali likes this.
  7. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    May 25, 2009
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    Holy Hell
    Now we will end up being called "axis" and the enemy will end up being called "allies." But they would more likely be "allies and surrogates." Hint: Pak.

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