– War on the Rocks – Whatever its purported justification, China’s new base in Djibouti has stirred consternation in India, where commentators regard the development as a statement of strategic intent in the Indian Ocean. With an estimated area of nearly 250,000 square feet, the facility includes a large underground complex and is capable of hosting an estimated 10,000 troops. Over the past decade, New Delhi’s view of Beijing’s Indian Ocean ambitions has evolved significantly. Previously, a section of India’s strategic elite saw China’s forays in the region as largely commercial, and believed the Indian Navy, which dominated the South Asian littorals, could effectively counter PLAN aggression there. That consensus appears to have shifted. Many Indian observers now believe China’s military outpost in East Africa is aimed at regularizing a PLAN presence in the Indian Ocean, underscoring Beijing’s strategic ambition across the arc of the Indo-Pacific Region.
– ABC – India has declined an Australian request to take part in multilateral naval exercises in July over fears it could unnecessarily enflame diplomatic tensions with China.
– CIMSEC – An overview of Indian naval airpower.
– Times of India – Another iconic naval platform is now set for retirement after aircraft carrier INS Viraat. The Soviet-origin Tupolev-142M aircraft, which helped the force keep a hawk-eye on enemy warships and submarines in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) for almost 30 years, will be decommissioned later this month.
– CIMSEC – The Indian Navy’s Submarine Arm will celebrate its Golden Jubilee Year in 2017. The imminent commissioning of the Kalvari — in her new avatar as India’s first Scorpène Class submarine — is, therefore, an especially timely portent of happier times for the underwater sentinels of our freedom. For some time now, much media-time has been devoted to lamenting the several perceived inadequacies in the country’s submarine prowess, especially after the tragedy that struck INS Sindhurakshak in Mumbai on 14 August 2013, resulting in the loss of 18 precious lives and the loss of an invaluable combat platform…
– The Telegraph – The US has linked India’s ability to detect Chinese submarines in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea to the signing of an agreement that will permit sensors and equipment on US planes to talk and share data with those on Indian warships and planes.
– Times of India – India and the US are planning to further upgrade their already expansive and top-level Malabar annual naval exercise, in which Japan has now become a regular participant, with a renewed thrust on anti-submarine warfare operations.
– Janes – Russia will supply three Admiral Grigorovich-class (Project 11356M) frigates to India that were originally intended for the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet.
– Jane’s – There are still a number of problems with India’s Russian-built Mikoyan MiG-29K/KUB aircraft, as well as with the aircraft carrier formerly known as Admiral Gorshkov that entered Indian Navy service in 2013.
– UPI – The first of six Indian-built DCNS Scorpene-class submarines has started sea trials off the coast of Mumbai.
– IBC – Notwithstanding international pressures India has secretly conducted the maiden test of its nuclear capable undersea ballistic missile, code named K-4, from homegrown submarine INS Arihant at an undisclosed location in the Bay of Bengal.
– National Interest – New Delhi needs to be clear-eyed about Beijing’s ambitions.
– Economic Times – India’s first nuclear armed submarine is now ready for full fledged operations, having passed several deep sea diving drills as well as weapons launch tests over the past five months and a formal induction into the naval fleet is only a political call away.
– The Diplomat – India’s International Fleet Review highlighted the growing importance of naval power to India’s geopolitical vision.
– The Diplomat – In remarks Modi emphasized that the “oceans are the lifelines of global prosperity.”
– National Interest – While certainly not a full-blown alliance, relations have grown to such an extent that U.S. defense officials seem willing to share some of their most prized military technologies with India. Indeed, the United States seems ready to share the very symbol of American power projection: the mighty aircraft carrier.
– The Wire – India has celebrated Navy Day on December 4 since the 1971 war with Pakistan, when three Indian missile boats sank three Pakistani ships off Karachi that day with six missiles. This marked the start of India’s first naval offensive against Pakistan and was only the second time anti-ship missiles had been used in combat. But, four decades later, it is not the Pakistani navy but the prospect of another maritime terror attack and the expansion of China’s naval presence in the Indian Ocean that worries the Indian navy leadership.
– Reuters – India and Australia will hold their first ever joint naval drills next month, as the two countries seek to deepen defence ties and counter China’s growing sway in the Indian Ocean. The maritime exercises, to be held in the Bay of Bengal off India’s eastern coast next month, will include anti-submarine warfare and coordinated anti-submarine drills.
– UPI – Much has been written recently about both the U.S. military/naval “pivot to Asia” and China’s extensive South China Sea maritime assertions, stirring up territorial claims and counter-claims. But if the possibility of a potential U.S.-China maritime confrontation dominates media coverage, another scenario equally unsettling is rising to the surface — increasingly assertive naval power projections by both China and India.
– Reuters – The arrival of Indian warships at Port Blair earlier this month symbolizes how an island chain better known for its beaches and diving is quietly becoming a key plank in New Delhi’s strategy to counter China’s growing naval presence in the Indian Ocean.
– Asian Times – On a March 2015 trip to Seychelles and Mauritius, Narendra Modi outlined a bold framework that overturned the political approach that India had taken towards the Indian Ocean for half a century.
– USNI News – India’s Kilo-class attack submarine INS Sindhukirti (S-61) is set to return to the fleet soon, with its final “full-power trials” beginning Friday after the ship spent nearly 10 years undergoing refit work..
– USNI News – The head of the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier design and engineering office is set to meet his Indian counterparts later this month to discuss the design of India’s next carrier.
– USNI News – India’s long-delayed carrier is set to enter the water next week while the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has approved more money for development of the second indigenous carrier.
– USNI News – India launched its first indigenously built attack submarine on Monday. The French-designed, Indian-built Scorpene-class is the first of six diesel-electric boats (SSK) set to join the fleet over the next few years as part of the Indian Navy’s Project 75 in collaboration with France.