Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Indian Ocean Hots Up


India has returned to the elite club of countries with a nuclear-powered submarine when by inducting a new
vessel leased from Russia.

AK Antony, the Indian defence minister, formally commissioned the INS Chakra II on Wednesday at its base in Visakhapatnam, a naval shipyard on the country's southeast coast in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

India is particularly keen to strengthen its maritime capabilities, given China's pursuit of a powerful "blue water" navy which Delhi sees as a threat to key shipping routes in the Indian Ocean and Indian energy assets in the South China Sea.

"This will be a big boost for the Indian navy," Antony told reporters. "The INS Chakra will ensure security and sovereignty of the country," he said in televised remarks.

The 8,140-tonne submarine, capable of firing a range of torpedoes, as well as nuclear-tipped Granat cruise missiles, was offered to India by Moscow on a 10-year lease - a deal greeted with alarm and anger by arch rival Pakistan.

India is currently completing the development of its own Arihant-class nuclear-powered submarine and the INSChakra II is expected to help crews train for the domestic boat's introduction into service later this year.


I see US Navy Destroyers spending a lot more time in the I.O. And I see out shared base in Diego Garcia becoming much more important. Would not be surprised to see a USN fast attack submarine showing up in Diego Garcia's lagoon fairly soon.
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