In January, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh confirmed the constant presence of seven to eight People’s Liberation Army Navy warships in the Indian Ocean Region at any given time. Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, the admiral warned: “If anyone operates in our region, they have to notify us first”.
The Indian Navy on Tuesday asserted its war preparedness while stating that it has continued to maintain its operational vigil in the Indian Ocean Region by carrying out regular maritime surveillance missions by day and night.
The statement comes against the backdrop of movements of a Chinese aircraft carrier and warships through the Miyako Strait as part of a journey to the South China Sea.
“The Dornier squadron of the ENC, INAS 311, operating from the air station, has been undertaking regular maritime surveillance missions. Additionally, all other air assets have been kept mission-ready and prepared for immediate deployment should the need arise”, a statement issued by the Indian Navy on Tuesday reads.
The statement also mentioned the preparedness of the navy to support country’s civilian authorities to maintain the supply of essential goods during the unprecedented 40-day lockdown in the country.
“The manning of the airfield has been modified to ensure that all requisite safety services and airfield facilities continued to be available”, the navy added.
On Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown until 3 May to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the statement issued by the navy made it clear that it will not lower down its guard to maintain its dominance in the Indian Ocean Region, which has been “threatened” by the Chinese side. Meanwhile, China has claimed that its growing presence in the region is due to patrolling practices.
Last month, the Indian Navy claimed that it had tracked a Chinese vessel near India’s strategic Andaman Islands after it passed through the Strait of Malacca. Earlier, Forbes reported that China had deployed at least 12 underwater “Sea Wing” drones – which can play crucial role in submarine warfare – in the Indian Ocean.