Indian Navy

How India May Rely On Its Navy To Offset China

By Aviation week

An Indian confrontation with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the eastern Ladakh region could result in Indian naval acquisitions driving the growth of a domestic military aviation industry this decade.

PLA incursions into the Ladakh region in early 2020 and a deadly skirmish at Galwan Valley spurred a volley of missile tests and prompted India to invite a fourth partner to Exercise Malabar—the Royal Australian Navy—to join Japan and the U.S. The nation’s focus on naval alliances coincides with a renewed debate in New Delhi about long-term defense expenditures, a conversation in which the navy has long received the smallest share of the budget.

A large part of the discussion concerns assets the Indian Navy should pursue—specifically, a third aircraft carrier and its associated aircraft. Naval aviation capabilities are key for India to dominate the Indian Ocean region along with its Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) partners: Australia, Japan and the U.S.

While any increase in Indian naval strength might be perceived as a move to become the region’s gatekeeper, as a “net security provider,” navy chief Adm. Karambir Singh sees the service’s role instead as a “preferred security partner.”

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