India is sending four of its warships to the South China Sea for bilateral exercises with friendly countries in what observers see as New Delhi’s attempt to counter China’s growing assertiveness on maritime issues.
âThe vessels of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet – INS Ranvijay, INS Shivalik, INS Kadmatt and INS Kora – are expected to carry out an overseas deployment of more than two months in Southeast Asia, the South China Sea and in the Western Pacific, âthe Indian Navy tweeted.
He said the deployment was aimed at emphasizing the operational reach, peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries in order to ensure good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen the existing ties between India and the countries of the Indo-Pacific.
The warships will participate in bilateral exercises with the Vietnamese People’s Navy, the Philippine Navy, the Navy of the Republic of Singapore, the Indonesian Navy and the Australian Navy and will also participate in the multilateral exercise “MALABAR 21”, the official added. Marine. Exercise Malabar will also see the participation of the US and Japanese navies off Guam. India, Japan, Australia and the United States together constitute the “Quad” that China sees as a group that wants to control its growing influence in world affairs.
The Indian Navy’s participation in naval exercises with these countries, some of which are involved in maritime disputes with China, comes at a time when the Indian military is stuck in a tense standoff with the People’s Liberation Army. (APL) in eastern Ladakh.
New Delhi has traditionally avoided deepening its engagement with China’s neighbors for fear that such a move would upset Beijing. However, the mood has changed in New Delhi after the Ladakh standoff that started in April-May last year.
Meanwhile, India’s first designed and built aircraft carrier began sea trials off the coast of Kochi today. With this, India has joined a select group of countries to achieve the capacity to build its own aircraft carriers.
Describing it as a “proud and historic day for India”, the Indian Navy said: “The Reincarnated Vikrant (IAC) sailed for her first sea trials today (Wednesday), in the 50th year of the key role of his illustrious predecessor in winning the 1971 war. “
The Native Aircraft Carrier (IAC) is the âlargest and most complex warship ever designed and built in Indiaâ. Achievement, he said, was the key to India’s quest for âAtmanirbhar Bharatâ.