The great game within the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), wherever both India and China are jostling for identical strategic space, is unfolding at a fast clip.
Around the time a Chinese nuclear submarine is expected to cross over into the IOR early next year, to keep with past deployments, India would be beginning major military exercises to project power and hone combat capabilities on the high seas.
Concurrently, India is also fast-tracking plans to eventually induct six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs), four nuclear-powered submarines with ballistic missiles (SSBNs) and eighteen diesel-electric locomotive submarines.
At present, the Navy has solely thirteen old standard submarines, one indigenous SSBN in INS Arihant, that was commissioned last year, and an SSN in INS Chakra chartered from Russia, that doesn’t have nuclear-tipped missiles because of international treaties.
But INS Aridhaman, the second of four autochthonic SSBNs being created at Vishakhapatnam for over Rs 90,000 crore, is slated for induction next year. Moreover, India has also launched the over Rs 60,000-crore conceive to construct six autochthonic SSNs, that was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in early-2015.