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Ankur asked: How are we going to deal with a rising PLAN in the Indian ocean?

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  • Pankaj Kumar Jha replies: If we analyse the modernisation trends of PLAN in the last five years, it is clear that the stress is more on smart frigates, anti-ship missiles, nuclear submarines and nuclear submarines with ballistic missile launch capability. These acquisitions are meant for sea denial and creating deterrence.

    The Indian plan of action is two pronged. Firstly, India is trying to strengthen multilateral forums like Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) to create common consensus on maritime issues, thereby creating a cooperative security framework. At the same time it is also engaging important players through biennial liaison meetings like MILAN, in which more than 16 navies participated last year. Secondly, India is trying to enhance its maritime capabilities through induction of stealth frigates, a new aircraft carrier and the naval version of Brahmos. Lately, India successfully test-fired Brahmos on a moving vessel.

    India’s Maritime Strategy Doctrine of 2009 has listed the nine sea lanes of communication as vital maritime interests and areas of influence. Also, naval cooperation with countries like Oman, South Africa, Maldives and Indonesia, as well as exercises in South China Sea show that India has a strategic plan of action in place.

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