NEW DELHI: India is making an ambitious plan to bolster its naval might, primarily to counter China’s expanding presence in the Indian Ocean region. The Indian Navy, which has a fleet of 132 warships, 143 aircraft, and 130 helicopters, has unveiled a comprehensive plan to transform into a 175-warship powerhouse by 2035.
This move aligns with India’s unwavering commitment to safeguard its vast geostrategic interests and effectively respond to China’s evergrowing influence in the Indian Ocean Region. The endeavour involves a substantial investment, with approximately Rs 2 lakh crore allocated for 68 warships and vessels currently on order.
To realise this goal, the Navy has secured initial approval for a fleet of eight next-generation corvettes, nine submarines, five survey vessels, and two multi-purpose vessels.
These vessels will be manufactured domestically in the coming years, showcasing India’s commitment to selfreliance in defence production.
Expanding its naval capabilities also entails strengthening its aerial and maritime assets. The plan encompasses an augmentation of fighters, aircraft, helicopters, and drones, enhancing the Navy’s strategic reach, mobility, and operational flexibility in the IOR and beyond.
While focusing on modernisation, the Navy is simultaneously addressing gaps in its underwater combat capabilities. Almost all the 61 ships currently on order are in the process of construction within India. This demonstrates the nation’s unwavering commitment to its indigenous defence manufacturing capabilities.
Notably, Russia is constructing two frigates. Furthermore, two additional guided-missile destroyers, “Imphal” and “Surat,” are in readiness to join the ranks. These ships will augment the initial two destroyers. “INS Visakhapatnam” and “INS Mormugao”.