Kudos to the Indian Navy for their fortnight long success off the Gulf of Aden. India now plans to send some more frigates to patrol this sensitive area. Interestingly, there is now news that India also has “approval” for hot pursuit of pirates into Somali waters.
Do we see India as the new naval superpower?
The Indian Navy is the 5th largest in the world. There are ~55,000 personnel including ~5,000 personnel in Naval Aviation and 2,000+ marine commandos. The INS Viraat is the only aircraft carrier and leads the fleet of over 150 ships and submarines. Their role in times of war and peace has been immense in safeguarding our coastline of about 7517 km (about 5423 km along the mainland and 2094 km the Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep Islands).
For years it has been known that we have been struggling with the need for another aircraft carrier. Its funny how Russia has been such a strong arms ally and also manages to twist India’s arm for more and more money for rebuilding a once dead carrier.
The Armed Forces Chiefs have been asking for more and more to replenish the forces that have saved the nation from the many wars and the clutches of internal forces. None better than our forces know that it is art and skill that wins wars today and not just the ability to deploy the latest smart bombs. But as with everything there is a need to compensate brain and brawn. Let’s leave that to our think tanks.
With all the war games amongst many nations in the last couple of years, is is sad that none else seems to want to join forces to make the oceans a safer place. This latest move sees India taking the initiative and moving in to save not only our maritime economic resources but also as a measure to enhance the security of perhaps today’s most dangerous seafaring route. It remains to be seen how the world takes this move from India.
What do you think ? Post your comments below …