Thursday, January 26, 2012

India moving from Passive Defence to Active Defence

Year 2011, marked a significant shift in the implementation of Indian Defence Policy. Though, there was innumerable hints and clues that India will do away with Passive Defence Approach and will moved to a posture of Active Defence on her frontiers, but it was Year 2011 which has shown that Active Defence policy has indeed moved to the implementation phase now.

Some important news from 2011 which supports this are -

  • Re-activation of Advance Landing Grounds in the North East sector
  • Stationing of front-line Sukhoi 30 MKI combat aircrafts in the North East sector
  • First flight of DRDO AEW&C aircraft that is being built in collaboration with Embrarer
  • Maiden test-firing of Agni 4 missile
  • Proposal to establish Mountain Brigade for Indian Army, which is to be deployed at Indo-Tibet border
  • Fast tracking of construction activities for Scorpene submarine
  • Release of a realistic date for comissioning of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya - 4 Dec 2012 (Navy Day)

One can easily notice that all of these activities above, are signs of Active Defence Policy, to deter an aggressor and if deterrence fails, then definitely enables the country to initiate swift action against the adversary, with the help of active defence posture of these new defence ptaforms.

Now one of the most important news of early-2012 for Indian defence establishment came through Indian Navy -

  • INS Chakra (Russian Nerpa - Akula II) has been commissioned into Indian Navy. Indian Navy has re-acquired the capability of operating an SSN after two decades. INS Chakra should reach its new home base at Vishakhapatnam by February end. Vishakhapatnam has been a submarine base for Indian Navy since independence and the new submarine base proposed at Rambilli also lies on the east coast. This shows that Indian defence estbalishment no longer considers Pakistan as a major threat, and is now putting more focus on it's Look-East policy. Availability of an SSN in the arsenal of an Indian Navy, that too an Akula II Class submarine would have definitely disturbed the sleep of adversaries. Akula II Class is one of the finest hunter-killer SSNs in the world today, that prowls today's oceans, defence experts often compare it to US Navy's Virginia Class. After induction of INS Chakra, speculations are rife that India may get another Akula submarine on lease from Russia, it is based on the information that there are still some Akula hulls at different stages of completion, work was stopped on them after the disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991. Some of these hulls have been used for Borei Class SSBNs, but some of them are still lying there, and can be a potential candidate for another SSN to be leased to India. If that is the case we will surely get to know about it, may be in a not-too-distant future, this will enable India to have at least one SSN deployed on the east coast, at all times. Till then combination of INS Chakra and Diesel-Electric Kilo Class Submarines will hold the forte.
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