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The Reflection of Self Reliant India

Context

PM Modi commissioned India’s largest indigenous military project, the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi, Kerala.

Relevance

GS Paper 3: Internal Security

Mains Question

Criminals and anti-national activities have always been a threat to India’s coasts. When discussing potential threats, emphasise India’s coastal security measures. (150 words)


Basic Introduction

  • An aircraft carrier is a large ship that transports military aircraft and has a long, flat surface on which they take off and land.
  • It is frequently referred to as one of the most powerful marine assets for any nation, enhancing a Navy’s ability to travel far from its home shores to carry out air dominance operations.
  • The Indian Navy recently received its first indigenously built aircraft carrier, Vikrant.
  • The aircraft carrier will initially be assigned to the Western Naval Command.
  • The Western Naval Command is one of the Indian Navy’s three command-level formations. Its headquarters are located in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

The Importance of IAC for India

  • Facilitate the transition from Brown Water Navy to Blue Water Navy o The IAC will assist the Indian Navy in its transition from Brown Water Navy to Blue Water Navy.
  • A blue water navy is one that can project a nation’s strength and power across the high seas.
  • A brown water navy can conduct military operations in the littoral zone.
  • Strategic importance
    • India’s domain extends from the east coast of Africa to the western Pacific.
    • The South China Sea handles a large portion of India’s trade.
    • India is also a dominant force in the Indo-Pacific region.
    • As a result, IAC elevates India to the status of a significant maritime power in the Indo-Pacific region, allowing it to more effectively counter China in the region.
  • China currently operates three aircraft carriers. The third was recently released in June 2022.
  • India joined an exclusive club
    • To date, only five or six nations are capable of producing an aircraft carrier.
    • By demonstrating the ability to construct one of the most advanced and complex battleships, India has now joined this exclusive club.
  • Nirbhar Aatma Bharat
    • The aircraft carrier, with an overall indigenous content of 76%, is a perfect example of the quest for Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.

Earlier Aircraft Carriers in India

  • INS Vikramaditya – The Navy’s only active aircraft carrier (Russian built, commissioned in 2013).
  • INS Vikrant – A British-built HMS Hercules that was commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1961. In 1997, it was decommissioned.
  • INS Viraat – A British-built HMS Hermes that was commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1987. In 2016, it was decommissioned. PM Modi commissioned the Navy’s first fully indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, which is also the country’s largest warship.

Key points from the speech delivered on this occasion

  • India’s independence
    • Until now, only developed countries have built such aircraft carriers. By joining the league, India has taken a step closer to becoming a developed country.
  • emphasised the significance of INS Vikrant
    • As India rapidly approaches a $5 trillion economy, its share of global trade will grow. A significant portion of it will inevitably be via maritime routes.
    • In such a scenario, INS Vikrant will be critical in protecting India’s security and economic interests.
  • India is capable of meeting the region’s collective security needs.
    • The commissioning of INS Vikrant demonstrated the government’s determination to ensure India’s safety and security for the next 25 years.
  • Vikrant assures friendly foreign countries that India is capable of meeting the region’s collective security needs.

 


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September 2022
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