Admiral Sunil Lanba asked his top commanders to work towards
expanding the Navy's operational footprint in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) in the backdrop of India and China
working for the same strategic space in the region.
Lanba, chairing the four-day naval commanders' conference, on May 5 said the
Navy should also continue to make efforts to be viewed as the "the
stabilizing force" as well as "the first responder" by the
littoral states in the Indian Ocean region.
The Navy, is keeping an-eye over the ever-increasing long-range deployment by
the Chinese Navy+ , includeing its regular forays by its conventional and
nuclear submarines to the Indian Ocean Regiona since December 2013. China also
continues to deepen its maritime links with Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives,
Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Cambodia as well as countries in East
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley also dwelt
on the expanding presence of extra-regional powers in the Indian OceanR"
while earlier addressing the conference,
Admiral Lanba, emphasized the need for
modernization and indigenization in the Navy, which has chalked out plans to
have 212 warships and 458 aircraft and helicopters by 2027. At present, the
Navy has 140 warships and 235 aircraft and helicopters. The depletion in the
number of its submarines, multi-role helicopters and minesweepers, however, is
posing major operational problems for the force.
has two nuclear-powered submarines, INS Arihant and INS Chakra. China, in turn,
has 56 submarines, which include five new Jin-class nuclear submarines.
India's poor long-term strategic planning to build military capabilities and
infrastructure has also ensured that the crucially-located Andaman and Nicobar
Command is yet to become the pivot it could be to counter China' strategic
moves in the IOR.