IANS

Indian Navy dominant in Indian Ocean vis-a-vis China: Navy chief

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) The Indian Navy is a dominant player in the Indian Ocean region vis-a-vis China though the latter has advantage in the South China sea, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said here on Monday.

Asked how prepared the Navy was for a two-front war with Pakistan on one side and China on the other, Admiral Lanba said there were no two fronts for the Navy and that Indian Navy was a dominant player in the Indian Ocean Region.

“As a far as Indian Navy is concerned, there is only one front and that is Indian Ocean. We don’t divide it into any fronts. In the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the balance of power rests in our favour vis-a-vis China.

“But in South China sea, the same advantages lie with China. So, the balance of power would be in China’s favour,” Lanba said addressing media persons here.

He said that as compared to the Pakistan Navy, the Indian Navy had “overall superiority under all fields and all domains”.

On Pakistan acquiring eight submarines from China, the Navy chief said that India had sufficient capabilities to counter any threat emanating from Pakistani submarines.

“Submarines always pose a challenge. But we have the requisite anti-submarine capabilities to take care of this,” he said.

He said that at any given time, there are about 6-8 Chinese Navy ships in the IOR. One is anti-piracy escort force which is there in the Gulf of Aden. It generally consists of three ships, two frigates or destroyers with a tanker.

Besides, they have another 3-4 survey vessels, satellite control ships.

Lanba said in October this year, there was deployment of a Chinese submarine in the IOR, which spent about a month in the Indian Ocean and then went back.

He said that for thwarting piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Navy had deployed a total of 70 warships since 2008, which had safely escorted more than 3,440 (including 413 Indian flagged) ships with over 25,062 mariners embarked.

The Navy thwarted 44 piracy attempts and apprehended 120 pirates.

He announced that the Navy would be conducting its flagship theatre-level operational readiness exercise, TROPEX, from January-end till early March next year.

The exercise will see participation of all our operational ships, submarines and aircraft as well as units from the Indian Coast Guard. It would also see significant participation from the Indian Army and Air Force.

–IANS
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