If anyone was wondering why the Indian Navy has deployed almost its entire fleet of ships and submarines into the Indian Ocean region, one only has to look at the ongoing border stand-off with China in Ladakh.
According to ThePrint, The Eastern and Western Naval Commands intended to send a clear “message” to China, and were successful in doing so.
While the details of that message remain classified, the moves are likely a clear signal to China, that what they are doing is unacceptable, and India will not back down, either on land or sea.
Furthermore, the move suggests that India is tightening its grip on the Malacca Strait, a development that will surely set off alarm bells in Beijing.
Sources in the defence and security establishment said that the “message has been registered” by China, ThePrint reported.
They added that the three service chiefs have been meeting regularly since the border tensions in Ladakh started simmering from early May and all military strategies are being planned jointly.
As reported by ThePrint, the development comes as the Indian military is preparing to respond to Chinese aggression in a joint manner keeping in mind the possible collusion of China and Pakistan.
“India has reacted in all domains to counter China and to tell her that what she has done is unacceptable. This involves the Army, Navy, Air Force, diplomacy and even economics,” a top government official said.
China has always been concerned about India possibly blocking the Malacca Strait through which 80% of the Chinese goods travel by sea, including petroleum, ThePrint reported.
Sources said that the Indian Navy has not spotted any “alarming” movement by the Chinese PLA Navy so far.
Asked how many ships have been additionally deployed in wake of the crisis with China, another source said, “Normally, during this period about 12-15 ships are always at sea. However, right now, most of the ships available for operations in the Eastern and Western fleet are operationally deployed.”
The vessels out at sea include aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, and submarines, including the indigenous Arihant, ThePrint reported.
The Navy has also gone in for emergency procurement of “niche equipment,” details of which are being withheld for operational secrecy.
Government sources said that one of the key bases for India is the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), the only tri-service Command of India.
They said that a lot of plans are in the works to fully exploit the capability of the Command, which gives India closer accessibility to the Malacca Strait, ThePrint reported.
The Indian Air Force has also sent its maritime strike variant of Jaguar fighters to the Car Nicobar Air Base under the ANC as part of the preparedness.
From this Command, the Navy has the ability to dominate the Malacca Strait.