In what is seen as India’s big leap in the field of defense, it accomplished yet another milestone by kicking off the project to build six nuclear power submarines. This is bound to boost the Navy’s overall attacking capabilities given China’s growing military influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
According to Naval Admiral Chief Sunil Lamba, India was now ready to play a major role in the Indo-Pacific region along with a quadrilateral coalition among India, Australia, Japan and US that will define India’s readiness to perform in the maritime domain.
“It has kicked off and I will leave it at that. It is a classified project. The process has started,” Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lamba said on Friday.
In a significant move, the officials of all these four countries had set this challenge of pursuing their military goals in the strategically potential Indo-Pacific region, where China has been aggressively chasing its military interests.
Addressing a press conference on the eve of Navy Day, Admiral Lamba covered a range of defense issues including Indian Navy’s ambition to develop a range of warships, submarines and weapon maneuvers that help it combat both traditional and unwarranted threats in the future.
India commissioned its first nuclear submarine INS Arihant in 2016. Once it develops six more such warships it will become a force to reckon with in defense manufacturing.
Admiral Lamba also discussed the strategic threats India faces due to the presence of Chinese warships in the Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is under Chinese supervision.
Talking about the modernization of Navy he said that right now 34 shipbuilding projects are in pipeline for which Rs 40,000 crore has been allotted to the private shipyards.
He said that 8 ships from the Chinese PLA navy were deployed in the Indian ocean and posing security concerns for India, citing a situation in August when the number of Chinese ships had gone up to 14.
Chinese deployment of warships was also reported during the two-month long Doklam standoff between India and China. Admiral Lamba also stressed on augmenting the deployment of ships in some of the sensitive regions like Andamans, Malacca Strait, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, North Arabian, Sunda, and Amlok.
Referring to the various bilateral pacts on defense signed with nations he said, a deal has been signed between India and Singapore for greater cooperation and logistics support.
India has also signed a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMA) by taking fuel from the United States two months back.
India also embarked on its first overseas venture to develop the Rupppor nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. This power plant is a joint Indo-Russian venture, with its first foundation laid on 30th of November.
Also, work on India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier IAC1 is going on in full swing and he was hopeful that the aircraft will join the Navy by 2020.
Currently, India has plans to induce six nuclear power attack submarines (SSNs), four nuclear power submarines with ballistic missiles (SSBNs) and 18 diesel-electric submarines.
One of the four indigenous submarines with ballistic missiles (SSBNs) INS Adhirman is already under construction in the port of Vishakhapatnam which is slated to be inducted next year.