Chinese adventurism to influence India’s focus on coastal defense

Following recent news regarding India kick-startingcoastal defense exercise “Sea Vigil-21”;

Sourabh Banik, Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“The two-day event will witness the participation of multiple domestic maritime agencies including Indian Navy, Coast Guard, and Customs. Although the primary objective of this exercise is to check the efficacy of measures implemented to secure the country’s 7,516 km-long coastline, Indian maritime agencies will be more cautious of China’s adventurismto an extent that it will influence the country’s coastal defense strategies. In recent years, there has been multiple instances of incursion by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in the Indian Ocean which has kept New Delhi on its toes. Furthermore, the tension between the two countries is at an all-time high after the Galwan Valley skirmishes in June last year.

Indian maritime agencies are set to cumulatively spend over US$32bn on surface platforms and US$19bn on sub-surface platforms throughout this decade. Exercises like Sea Vigil-21 further indicates the seriousness of India’s focus on enhancing its coastal security.

India’s investment in surface platforms such as Destroyers, Frigates, Corvettes, Aircraft Carriers, Light Combat Vessels and Auxiliary Vessels is expected to grow by more than 50% at the end of this decade as compared to 2020. Among these vessel categories, Light Combat Vessels, such as Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), and Fast Patrol Boat (FPB), which are primarily responsible for coastal defense will account for about 19% share of the country’s spend on naval vessels between 2020 and 2030.”

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