New Delhi, December 3: Concerning about the presence of Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean, and on the growing presence of China in the international waters, India has kick-started the process to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines which will significantly boost the Navy’s overall strike capabilities.
He said the Navy will play its role in the Indo-Pacific region when the much talked about quadrilateral coalition among India, Australia, Japan and the US takes shape, reflecting the the Navy’s readiness to play a much assertive role in the critical sea lanes.
In a major move, officials of the four countries earlier this month had set the ball rolling to pursue their common interests in the strategically important Indo-Pacific region where China has been aggressively expanding its military presence.
“We are all aware of the prevailing security scenario in our maritime domain. The continued presence of both traditional and non-traditional threats in the maritime domain demand constant attention and robust mitigating measures,” he told a press conference.
On Chinese presence in the strategically-important Gwadar port in Pakistan, he said it may be a security challenge for India in future. “It will be a security challenge. We will have to look at it and mitigate,” he said.
Wasting no time after unveiling a key defence manufacturing policy, Government is moving ahead by planning to roll out a Rs 60,000 crore submarine programme. This is said to be 1st project under the ambitious 'Strategic Partnership' aimed at inviting leading private companies to manufacture defence equipment in India. Currently L&T and Reliance Defence are the only two companies eligible to participate.
INS Arihant is India's first indigenous submarine. Arihant, which can carry nuclear tipped ballistic missiles, is of the ship submersible ballistic nuclear class. The project to build a strategic nuclear submarine to carry nuclear missiles began as the Advanced Technology Vessel project in the 1980s, and the vessel project was launched in 2009 by Dr. Manmohan Singh.