The biggest gain is that this ship was indigenously designed and built by us. If we have to be a big superpower, we must have the capability to build ships of such calibre ourselves. We will continue to build some more ships of the same class.
This brings us close to our maritime strategy of having three aircraft carriers. The idea is that two out of three must be fully operational all the time. One can be deployed on the eastern seaboard and the other one on the western seaboard.
Our areas of responsibility increased significantly and we are now sailing into what I would like to call the Indo-Pacific region. All the maritime traffic passes through this area (and the Malacca Straits) and we need to maintain a good presence in this region.
An aircraft carrier is a huge instrument to project force and this gives us a huge advantage over China that is still far behind on experience in aircraft carriers. China is getting its first aircraft carrier and its navy doesn’t have any right now.
We are years ahead of it in terms of experience and capability, and it will take time for the Chinese to get their act together. It takes years to induct a carrier and it has to work with other forces.
It also takes five to seven years to build maritime doctrines for an aircraft carrier and in this area, we have decades of experience.
Even though China has more nuclear submarines than us, how long can it remain in water without any major logistic base in this region? Also, we are getting the P8I aircraft, which is an excellent anti-submarine warfare aircraft, from the Americans.
That will help us neutralise China’s advantage over us in submarine capabilities.
The MiG-29K is a wonderful aircraft and it we will help maintain an impenetrable bubble of at least 300 nautical miles around an aircraft carrier or a carrier battle group. This gives us a massive strategic reach and power...
- India Violet Updated at: Tuesday, August 13, 2013