According to the vice chief of the Indian Naval Staff, although the Indian Navy is moving ahead with an objective to have a force with around 170 ships by 2027 which has already suffered delays, it has still been in progress in its prospective planning and has catered for a third aircraft carrier in it.
On being asked about China’s handing over one of its largest and advanced warships to Pakistan in the previous week, the above-cited official said that the Indian Navy caters for the threats which keep changing when it builds its 15 year Maritime Capability Perspective Plan. Apparently, a fleet strength of 130 including ships and submarines is under possession by the Indian Navy.
The official said that the region of most rapid change is the Indian Ocean Region. We are currently living in a time where the global and regional balances of power are shifting rapidly while on the other hand to ensure that the force levels grow progressively for enhancing the capability of the Indian Navy in order to meet the emerging challenges, continuous efforts are being made.
Including small crafts to aircraft carriers, for over 57 years the Indian Navy has been developing indigenous designs in house and building over 90 ships, while the official also asserted that the Indian Navy’s focus and complete thrust on strategic Independence fall in line with the national objective of a self-reliant nation.
The timeline however depends on the way the progress of the Indian Navy goes as it aims to meet the objective of acquiring 170 and around 200 ships in the future. Expected to be completed early in the upcoming year, an Integrated Capability Development System (ICAD) has been introduced while the work is progressing on the tri-services effort in order to craft an Integrated Development System where the maritime capability perspective plan has also been included which shall be ensuring that the process continues, as further added by the official.
Planned for more than a decade
Although, there has been a delay in the procurement and the acquisition process, earlier the plan was for acquiring 170 ships by 2027 while the maritime capability perspective plan for the next fifteen years is being formulated but ICAD that has come up is for a 10 year period. The official said that since the Indian navy’s projects have a long gestation period they are working on a 15-year model as they need to have a much larger time frame for induction.
With the plan being reviewed every five years, it takes care of the changing threats as new warships are made available to Pakistan by China. The vice chief of the Indian Navy staff said that that’s how they can deal with the emerging threats.
However, on the other hand, the Chief of Defence Staff has spoken up against the third aircraft carrier several times in the past and has called it a high-value target while the aircraft carrier has been created for in the Navy is planning as said by the vice Navy Chief. In order to make a balanced force the aircraft carrier, Maritime Patrol Aircraft and the submarines are required for the capability of the country as they all have a definite role to play, as said by the Vice Chief of the Indian Navy.
A conservative estimate based on the projected growth rate of the country has been resumed by the Indian Navy on how much shall be available to them and have planned for the next 15 years. The Indian Navy has reached the current figures along with working on force structures on that basis said by the above-cited official.
Third aircraft carrier figures into that planning as in the navy’s budget they could be able to Cater for all of the above said.
In order to protect your torpedoes for the Scorpion class submarines, the fourth of which shall be commissioned in Mumbai on 25th November, the Italian defence giant Leonardo spa shall not be considered as said by the Navy officers for the ongoing tender when asked about the ban on the company.
The vice chief of the Indian Naval Staff was speaking ahead of the commissioning of the fourth submarine which is named as INS Vela under the P75 project, while by the end of next year, the upcoming one shall be commissioned and last by the end of 2023.
INS Visakhapatnam which is the first of the Visakhapatnam class destroyers under the ₹35,000 crore P15B project shall also be commissioned on 21st November in Mumbai. On the other hand till 2025 the other three destroyers under the projects namely INS Surat, INS Imphal and INS Marmagao shall be delivered annually.