Five days before World Maritime Day last week, the former Flag Ship of India’s Western Fleet headquartered in Mumbai – the Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat or R 22 – was towed away to the ship-breaking yard in Alang, Gujarat. This brought down the curtains on Viraat’s glorious career of 58 years at sea. The Indian Navy is awaiting the commissioning of a new aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’, named after the Indian Navy’s first carrier. Just as it will one day induct another new carrier and name it after the Viraat.
At the 4 June, India-Australia, virtual summit, one of the most critical, among several agreements signed, was the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA). India has logistics support agreements with many countries. How is the MLSA with Australia any different? Given the geo-strategic maritime competition with China, this agreement is uniquely significant and could be especially beneficial for the Indian Navy.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s recent announcement of defence reforms is an appropriate opportunity for India to create a vibrant and profitable defence-industrial base by focusing on the procurement process, capitalising on emerging technologies and partnering with like-minded countries.
Ten years after the 26/11 terror attack, India’s maritime security is much stronger, with better inter-agency coordination and improved security structure. The Indian Navy was made responsible for maritime security overall, but no fool-proof and unambiguous command and control structure exists as yet.
The La Fayette, the French Navy’s frigate, is lean, mean and silent. Some takeaways from a tour of the classic.
When the Modi government presents its first Budget, it will hopefully pay closer attention to India’s defence requirements. Over the years, the defence budget has expanded, but funds allocated for military modernisation have not increased. This should be the government’s priority
A string of tragic accidents, an ageing fleet of sub-marines and a lack of vision are hampering the Indian Navy’s growth as a regional force. The new government will have to rethink the system of defence purchases and invest in indigenisation to optimise the strength of the Indian armed forces
The Indian Navy, through multi-lateral exercises, is increasing its sphere of influence and becoming a regional force. Yet, it needs to be supported by policy decisions that enable it to achieve its potential as a state-of-the-art establishment and a powerful tool in India’s diplomatic repertoire
The concern with piracy is in our waters is three-fold: the threat to Indian-owned vessels and Indian citizens; the difficulty in dealing with piracy and hostage-taking on the high seas; and finally, squeezing the organized industry. Can India play a leadership role in this effort?
The Diplomat republished Brig. (Retd.) Xerxes Adrianwalla's article on the obsolete Indian military structure. He advocates reforms for the system, such as having a Joint Chiefs of Defense Staff to co-ordinate and synergize operations and equipment.