Acquiring a third aircraft carrier is a major decision. It is no surprise then that it will be taken after a much-needed deliberation of the Services as well as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
A strong Army well supported by an equally dynamic Air Force, hence are a must. The important questions that two questions that, however, need to be asked are:
- Is the Naval warfare being undertaken only for the sake of naval warfare?
- For a country like India which is dependent on the sea for over 97% of its trade including fuel and critical war-fighting supplies, without the Navy being strong, can the Army and Air Force every be strong?
Let us not forget, the Indian Navy “has seen action only twice, 1965 and 1971, on the sidelines of the land operations and the aircraft carrier had a minimum role”. If fact, let us face it, the Navy has seen classic naval action only in 1971. This one was a sure shot victory which also surprised its planners. The Navy, and especially INS Vikrant, played an extremely important role in this victory.
Let us not forget that in 1965, thanks to political directions, the involvement of the Navy was kept to the minimum. In fact, the Indian Navy was not allowed to operate beyond the North of Okha.