I’ve been reading about this for several years now, how India’s “blue water fleet” and submarine capacity is rapidly expanding. Given it’s population size, available resources and increasing technological capabilities, this increase of their naval abilities definitely makes them a regional power to be reckoned with. This could make our own interests in the region more difficult to maintain in the future if our “on-again, off-again” alliance with the Indians veers towards the latter. Hopefully in light of China’s own rapid expansion and the historic enmity between the two powers, our ties with India will be maintained postively. All in all, while India does still have many problems to overcome, it is an interesting look at how a once backward nation has transformed itself in a relatively short period of time.
While Chinese naval modernization efforts are capturing the attention of Western naval officials and analysts as well as journalists and even bloggers, little attention is being given to the Indian Navy’s massive expansion effort. Mohammed Ahmedullah, a leading defense writer, wrote in Military Technology (2/2008):
“With the second biggest Army in the world and a rapidly expanding Navy, India knows that it needs to modernize fast, leapfrog in technology and accumulate military assets rapidly over the next decade if it has to safeguard it growing economic might with military teeth…”
Within a decade the naval forces of India will include two large aircraft carriers, a large force of missile-armed surface warships, and a significant submarine flotilla, probably including three nuclear-propelled attack submarines. The rationale for the expansion of the Indian fleet is to protect the flow of oil to India’s rapidly growing economy… (Defense Tech)