The Indian Navy is carrying out an exercise in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to test its capabilities on water and be all guns blazing against Chinese advances in the seas amid the India-China standoff in Ladakh.
Assets of the Eastern Naval Command and the Andaman and Nicobar Command of the Indian Navy have been deployed in the war games, sources said.
All major warships and other critical assets of the Navy are part of the exercise. However, the Navy did not give out any specific numbers or the kinds of assets that have been deployed.
“Important warships part of Eastern Naval Command and Andaman Nicobar Command are participating. The exercise is scheduled for the entire eastern fleet deployment,” a source said.
The Andaman and Nicobar Commander has assets of Navy, Air Force, and the Army working together and making it a theatre command formation. It is to ensure optimum use of assets from all forces is being considered for other sectors as well.
China has been expanding its naval operations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Under the veil of anti-piracy operations, the Chinese have often brought in submarines in the IOR.
In the last decade, the Chinese Navy has been frequently sending submarine missions in the Indian Ocean Region that occasionally closed in on the Indian waters, reaching up to Colombo and Karachi.
Such missions are usually backed by a regular ship. The deployments have included nuclear as well as non-nuclear submarines.
During the summit, India and Japan are also expected to draft and formalise a logistics sharing pact, Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement, that would give militaries of the two countries access to each other’s naval bases.
Sources said an alternating trend of sending a conventional submarine and a nuclear sub to follow it has been spotted. India is looking to consolidatae its military diplomacy through the Navy to counter Chinese expansionism in the waters.