India holds major exercise in Arabian Sea, keeps tabs on China’s naval forays

Nilgiri

MEMBER
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
202
Reaction score
225
Country
India
Location
Canada
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-holds-major-exercise-in-arabian-sea-keeps-tabs-on-chinas-naval-forays/articleshow/63003172.cms

NEW DELHI: India continues to keep an eagle eye on the increasing forays of Chinese warships and submarines in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), even as it is honing its maritime combat capabilities with major theatre-level operational readiness exercises on both the western and eastern seaboards for the first time this year.

India and China, of course, are engaged in some stepped-up shadow-boxing along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) after the rival troops disengaged from 73-day eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation at Doklam near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction six months ago. “Border transgressions” by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), for instance, jumped to as many as 426 last year as compared to 273 in 2016.

This muscle-flexing rivalry is also underway in the IOR, though both sides do not want the strategic competition to escalate into conflict on the high seas, much like the 4,057-km long land border in the Himalayan region.

Defence sources on Tuesday said a Chinese flotilla of a destroyer, frigate, amphibious transport ship and replenishment tanker did enter the eastern IOR through the Sunda Strait (Indonesia) around February 10, after conducting some drills in the South China Sea, but it went back through the Lombok Strait after some days.

Rejecting “alarmist” reports of China indulging in gunboat diplomacy amid the constitutional crisis in Maldives, the sources said the flotilla was well over 3,500-km away from the tiny island country in the Arabian Sea.

“Indian satellites, warships and long-range maritime surveillance aircraft like P-8I kept close tabs on the Chinese flotilla, which was in international waters towards Australia,” said a source. Navy spokesperson Captain D K Sharma said, “India has a very robust surveillance system to ensure clear and transparent maritime domain awareness (MDA) in the entire IOR.”

At present, China’s 28th anti-piracy escort force of three warships is patrolling the Gulf of Aden, while its predecessor group is on a port call to Cape Town on its way back to China. “But this is a routine deployment underway since 2013. Some reports have added up the numbers to say 11-12 Chinese warships are in the IOR,” said the source.

The PLA Navy has developed “long legs” in the IOR, especially after operationalising its overseas military base at Djibouti in the Horn of Africa since August last year, apart from having access to Karachi and other ports in Pakistan for its submarines and warships.

India is now playing catch-up in having similar facilities abroad. But the Navy since last August is undertaking “mission-based deployments” from Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait, with around a dozen warships spread across “choke points” in the IOR on round-the-clock patrols for any operational eventuality.

There is also a massive tri-Service ‘Paschim Lehar’ exercise currently underway in the Arabian Sea with 40 warships and submarines as well as fighters, helicopters, surveillance aircraft and drones. This comes after a similar month-long Eastern Naval Command Operational Readiness Exercise (ENCORE) ended in the Bay of Bengal on February 7.

India, of course, has also signalled its intent to join the revived quadrilateral with US, Japan and Australia to ensure “a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region” and counter China’s aggressive and expansionist behaviour.
 

Scorpion

THINK TANK
Joined
Nov 27, 2014
Messages
2,889
Reaction score
2,018
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
Arabian sea becomes a place for India China muscles flexing. I hope its just a matter of that and it doesn't escalate into a conflict as both India and China don't want to risk their economy.
 

SOUTHie

MEMBER
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
93
Reaction score
131
Country
India
Location
India
Arabian sea becomes a place for India China muscles flexing. I hope its just a matter of that and it doesn't escalate into a conflict as both India and China don't want to risk their economy.
I'm more concerned about the South China Sea. India will not engage the Chinese even with US backing, we have soo much to lose and little to gain.
India China issue will go like a mini cold war.
 

Nilgiri

MEMBER
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
202
Reaction score
225
Country
India
Location
Canada
I'm more concerned about the South China Sea. India will not engage the Chinese even with US backing, we have soo much to lose and little to gain.
India China issue will go like a mini cold war.
Yep India will be mostly spectator in South China Sea...it is delegated to USN + allies (esp JSDF + ROKN) as far PLAN goes...and our more specific role will be mostly to help friendly navies (like Vietnam) bolster their capabilities over time.

Appreciable power projection there (east of malacca straits) from us probably only arrives 2040 and later. Same goes for other Indian ocean chokepoints like gulf of aden, hormuz strait and the dispersal/countering of diego garcia and southern ocean area/connector.
 

Scorpion

THINK TANK
Joined
Nov 27, 2014
Messages
2,889
Reaction score
2,018
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
I'm more concerned about the South China Sea. India will not engage the Chinese even with US backing, we have soo much to lose and little to gain.
India China issue will go like a mini cold war.
The US won't hesitate to push India and China against each other for the greater good of the US, at least what I believe.
 

SOUTHie

MEMBER
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
93
Reaction score
131
Country
India
Location
India
The US won't hesitate to push India and China against each other for the greater good of the US, at least what I believe.
Historically we never played in the hands of big powers. But when push comes to shove, India might look at that option. I'm pretty sure there will be no serious engagement.
 

Similar threads

Top