Geopolitics - December 2017

(Joyce) #1


December 2017

the Indian Defence PSUs is at the best
four warships a year. During the next 10
years, as against the annual requirement
of 107 Standard Ship Units, only about 40
would be made available by the defence
PSU shipyards in India. Incidentally,
the navy has already started work on
building six indigenous nuclear attack
submarines. The government has given
approvals for six new SSNs (nuclear
attack submarines) in 2015.
While India is capable of building
warships, it relies on the US, Russia and
Europe for technology from the world's
bigger players.
At the same time, India is also
reaching out to the region. It's boosting
ties with Mauritius and Seychelles, and
has offered to help Myanmar modernise
its navy. India recently concluded naval
exercises with the US and Japan and had
its first-ever drills with Australia.
The world market in shipbuilding
is dominated by three Asian countries,
namely China, South Korea and Japan
which together account for approximately
90 per cent of the world market in terms of
the existing order book at the end of year

  1. The emergence of these countries
    in the second half of the last century
    is a lesson for countries such as India.
    Among the three nations, China has seen
    spectacular growth in the industry since

the navy just a day before. Since the well
trained Indian Navy was available, it
could respond immediately and mitigate
the situation.
The warship, which is produced in
India, or any other country, reflects the
technological prowess of that country.
Indian Navy warships showcase the
technological prowess of India. It has
every kind of technology imaginable –
nuclear, satellite technology, metallurgy;
and every other technology is showcased
on it.
The developmental destiny of India
is closely linked with the seas around it.
That’s because, trade is the umbilical cord
of any development. Every day, there are
billions of dollars worth of trade, either
going out or coming into India. Due to
the peculiar geography of the country,
trade can happen only across the seas.
Little or no trade can happen in the
northern, eastern or western borders - it
has to be only across the seas.
About 90 per cent by volume and
75 per cent by value, India's trade flows
across the seas. That translates into $
billion of trade every day. It is not limited
to only one day. At any given point of
time, 10 days of trade that is floating
somewhere on the seas across the globe
belongs to India and this is equal to $
billion. That is not a small amount.

1990s while South Korea usurped Japan
as the world leader in 1999.
As a senior Vice Admiral in the Indian
Navy explained recently, India is mainly
a maritime country and it needs a strong
navy. The reason India needs a strong
navy is because of its long coastline and
its large Exclusive Economic Zones, and
the national interests now spreading far
and wide. More, most of the global sea
lines of communication pass through
the Indian Ocean Region and without the
capability to be the net security provider
to the Indian Ocean region, India cannot
progress further, as it has to protect the
region as a whole.
The primary agency, which provides
protection to all these offshore assets, is
the Indian Navy. That being so, what do
we do? Why do we need a strong navy?
The navies are not created in a short
period of time. It has to be maintained
and shored up over a long period
through careful planning, nurturing and
development. Then only, when the time
comes, the navy is available to respond.
For example, India never imagined
the situation in Yemen would have taken
place a few years ago and it would have
to carry out a rescue through the sea
route. When it occurred, the Indian Navy
responded. When such situations arise,
the nation cannot start thinking about

INS Vikrant being undocked at the Cochin Shipyard Limited in 2015

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