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India is “watching very closely” Chinese vessels  in ocean region to protect and preserve its national maritime interests

There is a “large presence” of Chinese vessels in the Indian Ocean region and India is “watching very closely” developments in the region to protect and preserve its national maritime interests, Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said. Saturday.

Asked about aspects of the threats, the navy chief spoke of both conventional and unconventional threats, in addition to those emerging from what he described as a “quiet and inclusive paradigm”, resulting in a “web of threats” emerging.

The role of the Indian Navy is to protect, promote and preserve national interests in the maritime domain wherever they may be and assess threats and challenges.

Asked about PLA Navy ships docked at ports in Pakistan, he said these ships docked at ports in various countries, not just Pakistan. As for their visiting ports in Pakistan, “we are caught and we are keeping an eye on it”, he said.

As for China, it has commissioned a large number of ships and submarines in the last 10 years, a third aircraft carrier is under construction and they are working on much larger destroyers, he said. and added, “We have a feeling it will even out over time”.

“In the Indian Ocean area, we’re watching very closely… and trying to know who’s there and what they’re doing, we’re monitoring it 24×7 and we’re deploying aircraft, UAVs, ships, submarines, etc.” the navy chief said.

“There is a large presence of Chinese vessels. At any given time, there are 3-6 Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean region,” he said, adding that some are near the Gulf of Oman and some in the eastern part of the IOR, among others.

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Chinese vessels in the Indian Ocean region and the Indian Navy

Chinese research vessels are still present in numbers of 2-4 as well as Chinese fishing vessels. So there is a large presence of Chinese vessels in the Indian Ocean region and the Indian Navy is monitoring it, the Navy chief said.

“So we are refining our plans, the actions that need to be taken, and that also contributes to the development of our capabilities,” the navy chief said. Later, in response to a question from the audience about Chinese research vessels, Admiral Kumar said that these vessels have the ability to track and collect electronic signals.

When they operate near “our areas of national interest”, the Indian Navy monitors and has its ships “watching them very, very closely”.

Asked if modernization and capability development had any connection to threat assessment, he said modernization was part of the process and not threat-driven.

And the Navy has to be a “well-balanced force,” so it’s not about a nuclear submarine versus an aircraft carrier, because each brings its own capabilities and it’s not “either/or,” Admiral Kumar said.

On Atmanirbhar, Bharat reiterated that the Indian Navy “committed to the national leadership that we (Navy) will be fully Atmanirbhar by 2047”.

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