NEW DELHI: To ramp up the country’s security ring in the Indian Ocean in the backdrop of worrisome Chinese activities, India should utilise its island territories and use the peninsular mainland territory to its optimum, says a senior government official.
Commenting on the third aircraft carrier for Indian Navy, the official said: “India should develop its island territory as an unsinkable aircraft carrier and also use the peninsular landmass jutting into the Indian Ocean to its advantage.”
On the Chinese threat in the Indian Ocean with a possible deployment of its aircraft carrier in the future, the official said China has other areas which need focus. “The Chinese have other priorities such as Taiwan and Japan before they can come to Indian Ocean. And if they try to deploy a carrier, we are capable enough to handle them, he added.
The Indian Navy has been pitching for the third aircraft carrier for long. The logic put across is that the country should have at least two active carriers at any given time. In such a case availability of three aircraft carriers will give options of deploying one each on the eastern and western seaboard and the third can be put to the maintenance and repair cycle.
China has been constructing aircraft carriers at a fast pace with a projected plan to operate 10 carriers by 2050. At present their third and most advanced aircraft carrier is being built with the first one, Liaoning, being commissioned in 2012 and second, Shandong, ready in 2019.