Indian Navy has placed orders for 68 warships and vessels valued at approximately Rs 2 lakh crore. As per a TOI report, this strategic move aligns with India's overarching goal of safeguarding its extensive geostrategic interests and countering China's expanding presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The Indian Navy, currently boasting 132 warships, 143 aircraft, and 130 helicopters, has received preliminary approval, known as 'acceptance of necessity' (AoN), for the construction of eight next-generation corvettes, nine submarines, five survey vessels, and two multi-purpose vessels within India in the forthcoming years.
Despite grappling with the slow-paced construction in domestic shipyards, the phased decommissioning of aging vessels, and fiscal constraints, the Navy anticipates achieving a force level of approximately 155-160 warships by 2030.
However, the figures remain dynamic.
The prevailing objective is to bolster the fleet to at least 175 warships, if not 200, by 2035. This expansion aims to ensure credible strategic reach, mobility, and flexibility within the IOR and beyond.
It's understood that such an endeavor will necessitate a concurrent increase in the number of fighter aircraft, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and drones.
The escalating maritime threat posed by China underscores the urgency of these efforts. China's People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) is actively seeking additional overseas bases to surmount logistical challenges within the IOR and the broader Indo-Pacific, following their bases in Djibouti, Pakistan's Karachi and Gwadar, and possibly Cambodia's Ream.
China's naval capabilities are also surging, with the PLAN having inducted an astounding 150 warships over the past decade.