The Indian Navy is discretely building its submarine capabilities. The most visible aspect of India’s programs are the new nuclear-powered submarines which are being built. But beneath the surface there are other strategic steps to help ensure their Navy’s dominance of the Indian Ocean. The Navy is also reinforcing its presence in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, close to the strategically vital Strait of Malacca.
This is against a backdrop of heightened tensions with China. These look as if they could turn explosive at any moment despite efforts to deescalate. Most recently a border clash in the Galwan Valley left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead. The Indian Navy may be playing an active part in that crisis, far away from the sea, but their focus remains the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca.
This critical because China’s Naval power is growing, and with it the ability to project power into the Indian Ocean. Analysts see a massive increase in the Chinese Navy, known as the PLAN, over the coming years. Writing in the Sunday Guardian, Captain James E.