Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Fresh Push To Indian Navy’s Modernization Plan; 3rd Scorpene-Class Sub INS Karanj Commissioned

Indian Navy’s modernization plan to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) under Project 75 Alpha is back on track, according to reports.

The plan also envisages the commissioning of the Navy’s first-indigenously built aircraft carrier Vikrant (IAC-1) later this year. This will be India’s second aircraft carrier.

Meanwhile, the third Scorpene-class diesel-electric submarine INS Karanj was commissioned into the Indian Navy at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, on March 10.

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“The indigenous submarine built completely by Indians at Mazagon Dock is a testament to the AatmaNirbharta push by Indian Navy,” the Navy said in a tweet. 

Hindustan Times reported the latest test of the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system for the Navy’s submarine by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) should be seen as a part of the overall capability enhancement plans of the service. Project 75A was also discussed at the Combined Commanders’ Conference in Kevadia, Gujarat.

The Navy’s modernization efforts are aimed at countering China’s aggressive posture in the Indian Ocean Region. The two neighbors had been locked in a nine-month-long border standoff in eastern Ladakh before disengagement took place last month.

During that time, the Indian Navy had sent a warship to the South China Sea to intimidate the PLA Navy and maintained a close eye up to the Malacca Strait, the main shipping route from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean.

Recently, several Chinese research vessels were found loitering in the Andaman Sea and other parts of the Eastern Indian Ocean. It is believed they were mapping the seabed and collecting data, which can be used by PLA Navy submarines. Also, UUVs (unmanned underwater vehicles) were also found around the coasts of Indonesia.

The HT report said that the Indian Navy’s full deployment in the Indian Ocean and real-time intelligence from the QUAD allies and France have helped reduce China’s presence in the region. Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) is an informal arrangement between the US, Japan, Australia, and India.

The report said as of now, the movement of the PLA Navy (PLAN) warships is limited to the Gulf of Aden only because of India’s planned deployment.

The Indian Navy is also preparing to counter any possible deployment of the Chinese aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean Region. Both the navies are expected to commission new aircraft carriers by the end of this year, the HT report said.

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