Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Naval Interests:

How far Will The Dragon Swim?


The Indian Navy's New Chief Designate and the Tiger's Growing Fleet

 The official national animal of India and an important national symbol is the Royal Bengal Tiger. We use the tiger in our discussions as a symbol for India. Cats aren't known for their swimming ability but tigers and jaguars have been filmed swimming. India is one hell of a powerful and skilled swimming tiger. They don't call it the Indian Ocean for nothing and India intends to keep it that way, whether the dragon objects or not. While the Tiger respects the freedom of the seas, it is known to be determined that no dragon, eagle, or imperial lion develop the regional naval power to dispute its rule over the Indian waves. 

 The Indian Navy has been competently operating an aircraft carrier for years, the INS VIRAAT; while the dragon is still working on their first attempt at operating a carrier. The dragon has ventured into the Tiger's sea with various naval agreements with the Tiger's troublesome neighbor Pakistan. The Tiger respects the freedom of the seas and has not attacked the dragon, but the dragon must be aware of the formidable and growing teeth of the Tiger. At a time when the United States is attempting to operate a capable global naval presence on considerably less than 300 warships, India is preparing a one ocean Navy of at least 150 war ships.  The Indian Maritime Capability Perspective Plan 2012-2027 pegs the number of major war ships required as at least 150. India is not pipe dreaming on this; 44 new ships are on order along with six submarines. Contracts for another 45 warships including 6 new submarines and 7 stealth frigates are just a little deeper in the Indian naval acquisition system pipeline. As the Dragon grows the Tiger moves to be capable, competent, and up to date. 

  New Deli announced today (June 5, 2012) that Vice Admiral D.K. Joshi has been designated as the next Chief of Naval Operations for the Indian Navy after the August retirement of Admiral Nirmal Verma. Vice Admiral Joshi is a specialists in anti submarine warfare and a former commanding officer of guided missile corvetts, destroyers, and India's aircraft carrier INS VIRAAT. A more complete biography and more details of the transfer of power are available at the Times of India via the hyperlink below.

 The United States has many interests in the Indian Ocean area as does Great Britain. The British provide us with a naval base in the middle of the Indian Ocean at an Island cluster called Diego Garcia. Our Indian Ocean presence is no where near large or powerful enough to to give real pause to a determined dragon without re-enforcement. Our Indian Ocean naval presence not likely to grow appreciably in the near future. The real guardian of the Indian Ocean is the Tiger, who while not unfriendly to the Eagle; does on occasion buy warships and weapons from the Bear. The bear you may remember a few years ago, was having a virtual fire sale on military gear. India is the world's largest democracy, and the permanent naval power in the Indian Ocean. English is widely spoken, why our relations are sometimes at arms length is a complex tale. Again, one of the places where this tale has been explored in detail is in the pages of the U.S. Naval Institute's PROCEEDINGS.  http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings

Don't forget to check our "Naval Interest" section periodically for books on the Tiger's naval activity and the rivalry between the Tiger and the Dragon. Our "Naval Interest"section is our largest and fastest growing section in terms of book titles posted. The section however is not just for naval professionals. Anyone interested in history or global politics will find a lot of interest there. Can naval writers ever really capture the imagination and attention of the general public. Well, you do know who Tom Clancy is don't you? His first smash hit THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER was published by the U.S. Naval Institute Press. So even if you are a "dyed in the wool" civilian, go ahead browse our Naval Interest section.

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