To counter China in Indian Ocean region, India plans 175-warship Navy by 2035 | India News

    NEW DELHI: The Navy now has 68 warships and vessels on order, collectively worth an estimated Rs 2 lakh crore, in line with India’s continuing quest to build a stronger blue-water force to protect its huge geostrategic interests as well as counter China’s ever-expanding footprint in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
    The 132-warship Navy, with 143 aircraft and 130 helicopters, also has the initial approval or ‘acceptance of necessity’ (AoN) for another eight next-generation corvettes, nine submarines, five survey vessels and two multi-purpose vessels to be built in India in the coming years.
    Faced with the slow pace of construction in Indian shipyards, progressive decommissioning of old ships and budgetary constraints, the Navy will however reach a force-level of just about 155-160 warships by 2030.
    “The figures are dynamic. But the aim now is to have at least 175 warships — if not 200 — by 2035 for credible strategic reach, mobility and flexibility in the IOR and beyond. There will have to be a concomitant increase in the number of fighters, aircraft, helicopters and drones,” a source said.

    The growing maritime threat from China cannot be ignored. The People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) is aggressively hunting for more overseas bases after Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, Karachi and Gwadar in Pakistan and now possibly Ream in Cambodia to overcome its existing logistical challenge in the IOR and the larger Indo-Pacific.
    China, of course, is also building vessels at a furious rate to further add to what is the world’s largest Navy with 355 warships and submarines. “China has inducted as many as 150 warships over the last 10 years. Projections show the PLAN may well reach 555 warships in another five-six years. Chinese aircraft carriers will also begin to operate in the IOR by then,” an officer said.

    The Indian Navy, however, is yet to even get the preliminary nod for the construction of a third aircraft carrier that will take over a decade to build. The case for a smaller 45,000-tonne “repeat order” of INS Vikrant, which is still months away from becoming combat-ready after being commissioned a year ago, is now being finalised instead of a more potent and cost-effective 65,000-tonne carrier.
    The depleting underwater combat arm is another major worry. With the continuing delay in kicking off the long-pending ‘Project-75-India’ to build six advanced diesel-electric submarines for over Rs 42,000 crore, the government is now going in for three more French-origin Scorpene submarines to be built at Mazagon Docks (MDL). They will follow the first six such submarines built for over Rs 23,000 crore there.
    The good news is that the seven 6,670-tonne stealth frigates being constructed under Project-17A — four at MDL and three at GRSE in Kolkata at an overall cost of Rs 45,000 crore — are slated for delivery in the 2024-2026 timeframe.

    India to procure 12 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets as Centre approves nine capital acquisition projects worth Rs 45,000 crore

    Of the other 61 ships on order, all also being constructed in India except for two frigates in Russia, two more guided-missile destroyers (Imphal and Surat) will also soon follow the first two, INS Visakhapatnam and INS Mormugao, commissioned earlier under the Rs 35,000 crore Project-15B at MDL.
    Then there is the recently-inked over Rs 19,000 crore contract with Hindustan Shipyard (HSL) for five 44,000-tonne fleet support ships, whose deliveries will begin after four years.
    There are also six next-generation missile vessels to be built by the Cochin Shipyard for Rs 9,805 crore, with the deliveries to begin from March 2027. The deliveries of the 11 next-generation offshore patrol vessels — seven at Goa Shipyard and four at GRSE — in turn will commence from September 2026 for an overall cost of Rs 9,781 crore.

    Source link

    Latest articles


    Related articles