China’s Navy is going through a massive, blue-water build up too.
What could go wrong?
India has plans to add about 100 warships to its navy over the next decade as it seeks to modernise its armed forces, and develop its low-cost shipbuilding capabilities.
Captain Alok Bhatnagar, director of naval plans at India’s ministry of defence, said on Thursday that 32 warships and submarines were under construction in the country’s shipyards. Work on 75 more ships, including aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates and amphibious vessels, would begin over 10 years.
New Delhi is sensitive to lagging behind Beijing’s naval might in the region. China has three times the number of combat vessels as India and five times the personnel. Officials are wary of port developments in neighbouring Pakistan and Sri Lanka that offer Chinese warships anchorages and potentially greater control of the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.
However, India has one of the fastest growing navies in the world. Its fleet of about 120 vessels is the fifth largest. At the weekend, it launched a locally built nuclear-powered submarine, based on a Russian design, to join only a few countries with the technical prowess to produce such a war machine.