DMPQ- . Discuss the main causes escalating maritime challenges for India.

India’s main strategic challenge comes from its prosperous northern neighbour; China. It can be said that China and India, are going to make uneasy neighbours. For the two nuclear-armed nations to rise, almost simultaneously, without conflict will require either adroit diplomacy or a miracle; possibly both. The all weather Sino-Pakistan alliance, with its strong anti-Indian slant, further complicates our security problems.

Within the Sino-Indian strategic equation, the maritime dimension is a relatively new factor. The rapid growth of both economies has led to increasing reliance on energy and raw materials, and transported by sea. This has focused sharp attention on the criticality, for both economies, of uninterrupted use of the sea- lanes for trade and energy transportation. Thus, while the PLA Navy makes forays into the Indian Ocean, the IN has newfound commitments in the South China Sea.

The navy’s biggest challenge is going to be the timely replacement of ageing platforms and obsolescent equipment. The envisaged order of battle of about 150-170 ships and submarines, and possibly 250-300 aircraft assumes certain delivery rates from shipyards and aircraft factories; which they seem incapable of meeting. At the same time, our other major source, of hardware, the Russians, have brazenly reneged on costs as well as delivery schedules, in violation of solemn agreements. One of the more serious challenges before the navy’s leadership will be to persuade the Russians as well as Indian DPSUs to deliver on time and within cost.

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