New Delhi sets 2020 target to dominate Indian Ocean
India has set a target of 2020 to ensure that its dominance cannot be challenged in the Indian Ocean, a region where China has been making repeated forays, including sending nuclear-powered submarines.
The target has been discussed and agreed upon in the top echelons of New Delhi’s security architecture. “We will be impregnable to ward off any threat in the Indian Ocean by 2020,” explained a top source, adding that control over Andaman Nicobar Islands would be crucial.
The islands in Bay of Bengal sit on the western edge of Malacca straits through which ships carrying oil and other goods to India, China, Japan and Korea transit. An Indian control over these straits during any aggression will force China to opt for an alternative route through the straits of Sunda, some 1,000 km further east.
Sources said the ramping up of capabilities to secure the ocean includes buying newer warships, especially those capable of anti-submarine warfare, helicopters, string of additional radar, surveillance planes and drones, besides submarines.
Even as India secures its waters, it has been regularly engaging China through military exchanges. In fact, a delegation of China’s People’s Liberation Army is currently on a five-day — started on February 21 — visit to India. In May 2015, the India-China joint statement at Beijing after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had spoken about the need to “expand exchanges between border commanders”.
Source:- Tribune India