China’s Yuan-class conventional submarine launched by the “PLAN” (People’s Liberation Army Navy) was seen prowling in the IOR (Indian Ocean Region) recently. After sending 4 warships to southern Indian Ocean and south-east Asia, the submarine sought permission to dock at Colombo. Snubbed by Sri Lanka, the Chinese submarine is likely to head for Karachi now. Its location was picked by Indian Navy’s “Poseidon-81” (a long-range aircraft for maritime patrolling) when the submarine allegedly crossed the Malacca Strait last month.
The submarine, which is a part of China’s 26th anti-piracy taskforce, has been sending diesel-electric and nuclear submarines to the IOR since December 2013. The defense ministry views it as an attempt to enhance its strategic reach in the Indian Ocean under the pretext of patrolling Gulf of Aden to control pirates.
From December 2013 to February 2014, Indian navy officers have spotted 7 Chinese submarines, one of which was a Shang-class fighter specializing in nuclear attack. The Chinese follow a strategic pattern when entering the Indian Ocean. They alternately send diesel-electric and nuclear submarines, once in three months every year. Most of them usually come from the Malacca Straits, where they’re easily spotted due to shallow waters.
Recently, the officers got a wind of China’s latest plant to dispatch their brand new Jin-class submarines (advanced machines adept at launching nuclear attacks). The neighbors have expanded their navy by roping in 50 new submarines. China’s growing control over the seas is a matter of concern of Indian navy, which is far behind in underwater combat, having just 2 nuclear and 13 diesel-electric submarines to its name.
What’s more important is that China is strategically forging maritime links with other nations. Its brand new naval facility at Djibouti is a striking example of China’s growing potential in trade and underwater war routes. Meanwhile, India is gradually working on establishing military ties with the Asian countries under its Act East policy. They’ve deployed INS Kamorta, INS Sahyadri and INS Shivalik in the south-east Asian ocean.
Back in 2009, they’ve teamed up with the United States over a $2.1 billion deal concerning 8 P-81 aircrafts that will help us keep an eye on the IOR region. Coming July the country will participate in a navy drill along with Japan and US in Bay of Bengal. Considering the present scenario, India needs to up its task force in order to check Chinese submarines from entering its territory.