Indian Navy Running Short of Money for Modernization Program : Chinese Media

This early, the Indian Navy’s ambitious multi-billion dollar modernization plan seems set to run aground on the familiar shoals called a lack of money and an inert Indian government bureaucracy.

Senior Indian Navy officers were quoted by Indian media as saying the navy’s 15-year modernization plan will need $123 billion. The aim of this modernization plan is to make the Indian Navy the uncontested dominant naval power in the Indian Ocean, which will become an “Indian Lake” when the Indian Navy becomes strong enough to enfeeble both the Pakistan Navy and the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Lack of money stands in the way of this aim, however.

Navy sources said the navy will need to receive $8.5 billion a year to attain this aim. The navy, however, is currently receiving on $3 billion annually, and 95 percent of this amount is already committed.

That means only $153 million can be spent on new defense programs, including force modernization.

“So, there is no way that the Indian Navy can meet the challenges,” said a navy source.

The navy’s long-term plan calls for 198 warships by 2027, of which 120 should be “capital warships” which will include large, offensive combat platforms like aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes and submarines.

Against this requirement, the Indian Navy has just 140 warships today, of which barely half are capital warships.

India’s naval might is directed against China, and analysts believe China must assert control of the Indian Ocean for it to become the pre-eminent global superpower supplanting the United States.

In 2015, China said India can no longer consider the Indian Ocean its own backyard, a statement equivalent to flinging down the gauntlet. India responded with the modernization of the Indian Navy.

In 2016, the Navy revealed the “Indian Naval Indigenization Plan (INIP) 2015-2030,” which championed the need for locally developed, advanced systems for its warships.

The plan is also in line with the national defense doctrine set out in the “Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap (TPCR)” from the Ministry of Defense (MoD) that mandates a shift from an ammunition-based, theater-centric model to network-centric model based on directed-energy weapons such as high-energy lasers.

MoD’s roadmap also encourages the Indian Armed Forces to acquire modern subsonic, supersonic and ballistic missiles; equipment and sensors; propulsion and power generation and surveillance and detection systems.

Apart from funding shortfalls, the other key reason endangering the navy’s modernization plan is the navy’s continuing failure to build an efficient maritime-industrial complex attuned to its needs.

“Our Achilles’ Heel is our lethargic military-industrial complex, managed by bureaucrats and scientists with no accountability,” believes Arun Prakash, a retired Indian Navy admiral.

“Unless we can produce machinery, weapons, sensors and ammunition indigenously, our Navy cannot sustain blue-water maritime operations for any length of time. This will not happen overnight — and we have not even made a start yet. It is not related to funding, but to envisioning and planning.”

The post Indian Navy Running Short of Money for Modernization Program : Chinese Media appeared first on Indian Defence Update.

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