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Nilanthi Samaranayake, India’s Naval and Maritime Power in:

Sebastian Bruns, Sarandis Papadopoulos (Ed.)

Conceptualizing Maritime & Naval Strategy, page 241 - 266

Festschrift for Captain Peter M. Swartz, United States Navy (ret.)

1. Edition 2020, ISBN print: 978-3-8487-5753-4, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-9915-0, https://doi.org/10.5771/9783845299150-241

Series: ISPK Seapower Series, vol. 3

Bibliographic information
India’s Naval and Maritime Power Nilanthi Samaranayake 1 Introduction India faces a host of emerging strategic challenges in the maritime domain —at sea, along its vast coastline, and along the wider Indian Ocean littoral. This domain is unique from the air and land domains for India because it is not primarily focused on defense of the homeland. While the Indian Army and Air Force play important roles beyond national borders such as in peacekeeping and disaster-relief operations, these are not their primary missions. By contrast, naval operations tend to take place in the high seas, far from home. Higher-end navies such as the Indian Navy are often tasked with projecting power, including in peacetime, and ensuring the security of shipping through international waters for national economic interests.2 In the past 15 years, events such as the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) and the terrorist attacks on Mumbai (2008) have transformed how India thinks about the use of its navy. The Indian Navy’s overall responsibility has expanded to encompass the entire domain of maritime security, including coastal security, which has traditionally been the responsibility of the Indian Coast Guard.3 Yet India faces challenges in executing this vision due to bureaucratic and operational obstacles. Chinese commercial infrastructure 1 Nilanthi Samaranayake is Director of the Strategy and Policy Analysis Program at Center for Naval Analyses, a non-profit research organization in the Washington, D.C., area. The views expressed are solely those of the author and not of any organization with which she is affiliated. This chapter was originally written for an edited volume about India’s emerging strategic challenges, so the author is grateful to Srinath Raghavan and Anit Mukherjee for permitting its inclusion here. The author is also grateful to Gurpreet Khurana for providing helpful review comments on earlier drafts. 2 For more insights on the thinking behind high-end naval operations, see “Why A Sailor Thinks Like A Sailor” by J. C. Wylie, in Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 1967), 156-157. 3 Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy), “Ensuring Secure Seas: Indian Maritime Security Strategy,” Naval Strategic Publication (NSP) 1.2 (October 2015), ii. See also Lok Sabha Secretariat, “Coastal Security,” Reference Note No. 29/RN/Ref./November 2013: “The Indian Navy has been designated as the authori- 241 development projects in the Indian Ocean region have raised additional questions about India’s ability to project power and leadership in its own maritime backyard. These developments have direct implications for the Indian Navy in terms of its planning for China’s use of commercial facilities such as ports for military purposes detrimental to Indian interests. At a minimum, Beijing has already constructed a military base in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. While commercial port projects are not a responsibility that resides within the Indian Navy, policymakers in New Delhi must wrestle with China’s expansion in this realm and craft policies to build the critical economic dimension of India’s maritime power. Given the wide range of challenges confronting India in the maritime domain, this chapter will examine issues of concern in the naval, coastal, and commercial infrastructure dimensions. The first section will consider India’s growing naval power by providing a brief overview of some forthcoming platforms. The section will then examine the challenges faced by the Indian Navy, including obstacles to obtaining much-needed platforms and capabilities. The next section will examine India’s maritime power—a subject that includes, but also goes beyond, the ambit of the Indian Navy. Maritime power encompasses outreach to neighboring and regional countries, including operational cooperation with coast guards and provision of equipment. Next, the chapter will examine challenges to the growth of India’s maritime power. This entails a host of organizational, legal, and operational obstacles to the consolidation of India’s coastal security architecture. This section will then turn to a major challenge for India: building the economic dimension of its maritime power in the Indian Ocean region. This challenge primarily involves the expansion of maritime infrastructure that is not funded by India but by extraregional countries (namely China). The chapter will conclude by offering recommendations for Indian policymakers to address challenges to the growth of the country’s naval and maritime power. India’s Naval Power: A Modernizing Navy with Challenges Ahead The Indian Navy’s 2015 high-level document, Ensuring Secure Seas: Indian Maritime Security Strategy, makes clear the service’s wide tasking. In it, ty responsible for overall maritime security which includes coastal security and offshore security.” Nilanthi Samaranayake 242 Chief of Naval Staff R.K. Dhowan discussed the major geopolitical changes since the previous Indian Navy strategy and doctrine were issued in 2007 and 2009, respectively. At the time, China was just beginning to deploy task forces across the Indian Ocean in support of the multinational counterpiracy effort in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa. At present, the region has witnessed more than 30 task forces deployed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy. PLA Navy submarines have also conducted deployments, drawing media attention beginning in 2014 through port visits. The Pakistan Navy’s development of greater capabilities, including the planned acquisition of eight submarines from China, has added to the Indian Navy’s planning responsibilities in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. The Indian Navy’s 2015 strategy defines India’s primary area of operations. This area now includes the entire Indian Ocean, encompassing the waterspace from the Cape of Good Hope to the Indonesian straits.4 Second, the Indian Navy has pursued the acquisition and development of greater capabilities to support its security interests in this region. For example, India continues to be the world’s largest importer of weapons. The country bought 13% of the world’s arms in the last five years and roughly 10% in the preceding five-year period.5 The Indian Navy is also increasing its power-projection capabilities. Its pursuit of more aircraft carriers, submarines, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities and fighter aircraft— including codevelopment cooperation with France, Russia, and the United States, among others—is the hallmark of a modernizing, great naval power. The Indian Navy has also stepped up its diplomatic efforts with regional navies. The 2015 maritime strategy provides a list of regular, mostly bilateral exercises.6 In addition to formal exercises, the navy has cultivated a set of vital maritime relationships in the Indian Ocean. According to former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Arun Prakash, “the India[n] Navy has concluded formal agreements whereby its warships, submarines and aircraft can [pull] into about 25-30 friendly ports across the Indo-Pacific for opera- 4 For a map of India’s primary interests, see Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (2015), 34-35. 5 Aude Fleurant, “Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2016,” SIPRI Fact Sheet (February 2017), 6, https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/Trends-in-internationalarms-transfers-2016.pdf. 6 Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (2015), 87. India’s Naval and Maritime Power 243 tional or other reasons.”7 Access to all the corners of the Indian Ocean is a critical enabler for its power-projection interests throughout the region and beyond. These efforts partly can be seen as a response to growing threat perceptions of China and its deployments to the Indian Ocean during the past decade, but they also represent an inevitable expansion of India’s interests in the Indo-Pacific. The following subsections will examine the high-profile platforms that the Indian Navy is planning to use in the region. This section will focus on its pursuit of undersea and surface platforms.8 In particular, the following discussion will focus on submarines and aircraft carriers. Submarines India faces an enduring undersea threat to its west from Pakistan. The countries have fought four wars, including naval battles in 1971 over Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan). Since Pakistan’s surface fleet and naval aviation capabilities cannot compete with those of India, the country has invested in submarines as a key way to diminish India’s overall advantage. In January 2017, Pakistan confirmed the undersea launch of a missile assumed to be the Babur III, which may allow it to gain a second-strike capability. In addition to militant threats emanating from Pakistani territory and Islamabad’s current submarine capability, India faces a compounded challenge: China’s planned submarine sales to Pakistan. Furthermore, Chinese submarine deployments to the Indian Ocean, which began in late 2013, pose a growing concern to the Indian Navy.9 7 Quoted in Press Trust of India, “Trump Policies May Make Indo-Pacific Unstable: Ex-Navy Chief,” Business Standard, 15 February 2017, https://www.business-standar d.com/article/pti-stories/trump-policies-may-make-indo-pacific-unstable-ex-navy-chi ef-117021500986_1.html. 8 For more details on the Indian Navy’s capabilities, see Satu Limaye, Weighted West, Focused on the Indian Ocean and Cooperating across the Indo-Pacific: The Indian Navy's New Maritime Strategy, Capabilities, and Diplomacy, (Arlington, VA: Center for Naval Analyses, April 2017), https://www.cna.org/cna_files/pdf/DRM-2016-U-0139 39-Final2.pdf. 9 U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense, “Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015,” April 2015, 19, https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2015_China_Military _Power_Report.pdf. Nilanthi Samaranayake 244 At present, the Indian Navy has 16 submarines in operation. To counter undersea threats, it is pursuing a path of acquiring more of them: dieselelectric (SSK), as well as nuclear-powered attack and ballistic missile submarines. In addition to the need to counter regional threats, this project is important for two reasons. First, accidents in India’s submarine arm have caused the loss of life and attracted embarrassing public attention.10 In 2013, INS Sindhurakshak caught fire and sank in Mumbai, leading to the loss of 18 naval personnel. The following year, two sailors died from smoke inhalation while on INS Sindhuratna off Mumbai. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral D.K. Joshi even resigned in the wake of multiple incidents during his tenure. The current project will help restore a sense of pride to India’s submarine arm after a difficult period. Second, indigenous production of these submarines will contribute to the economy and supports Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative to increase indigenous production and expand India’s defense industry. Six Kalvari-class submarines will be built in India at Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai. The building of these $4 billion platforms in India, in collaboration with French defense giant Naval Group, supports the “Make in India” initiative. The submarines use the French Scorpène-class design.11 Two ships in this class, INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi, have been commissioned as of late 2019. While SSKs require the fleet to surface and recharge, nuclear-powered submarines can operate undersea much longer. The Indian Navy currently operates two types of nuclear-powered submarines. The first, INS Chakra, is a nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) that joined the Indian Navy in 2012. This Akula-class SSN, formerly K-152 Nerpa, was leased to the Indian Navy by Russia for a 10-year period.12 In October 2016, Russia agreed to lease India a second Akula when the lease for INS Chakra runs out in 2022. Because of the opportunity to lease SSNs from the Soviet Union and later Russia, India was able to gain experience operating nuclear-powered submarines rather than only conventional submarines. 10 Ramananda Sengupta, “The Sad Decline of India’s Submarine Fleet and How the Navy Is Rebuilding It,” Swarajya, 1 November 2015, https://swarajyamag.com/pol itics/the-sad-decline-of-indias-submarine-fleet-and-how-the-navy-is-rebuilding-it. 11 Of note, this project was challenged in 2016 when a report in The Australian newspaper revealed DCNS’s leak of classified design details about the Indian Navy’s Scorpène-class submarine and its capabilities. Considering the secrecy associated with submarine programs, it is difficult to know the extent of damage to the project. 12 India previously leased an SSN from the Soviet Union in the 1980s. India’s Naval and Maritime Power 245 The second type of nuclear-powered platform that India possesses is a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN). INS Arihant is India’s first SSBN. More importantly for India, this was an indigenously built platform. India’s path to becoming a nuclear power has been decades in the making.13 This SSBN was the first to be built outside the recognized five countries with nuclear capabilities—United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China. INS Arihant finally joined the fleet in August 2016. This class of four submarines—when fully operational with missiles14—will allow India to achieve its nuclear triad, meaning an ability to deliver nuclear weapons from the land, air, and sea. This would ensure that it has a diversified second-strike capability, if some of its nuclear weapons are first attacked. Given the country’s policy on no first-use of nuclear weapons, this capability is seen as vital for the defense of the nation. As the first in its class, INS Arihant is considered to be mainly used as training for future SSBN crews. INS Arighat is the second in the class of Arihant SSBNs being built and is considered far deadlier than its predecessor.15 Aircraft carriers The Indian Navy is also pursuing the indigenous production of surface assets. While there are many types of ships, no surface asset is more powerful than aircraft carriers. After the last sailing of INS Viraat in 2016, the Indian Navy had only one aircraft carrier in operation, INS Vikramaditya. The platform, acquired from Russia, is the refurbished Kiev-class, former Admiral Gorshkov that joined the Indian Navy in 2013 after myriad delays and cost overruns. INS Vikrant will be India’s first indigenously built carrier; however, estimates for how soon it will join the fleet range continue to be delayed.16 Writing about the launch of China’s first indigenous aircraft car- 13 Yogesh Joshi, “Debating the Nuclear Legacy Of India and One of Its Great Cold War Strategists,” War on the Rocks, 27 March 2017, https://warontherocks.com/20 17/03/debating-the-nuclear-legacy-of-india-and-one-of-its-great-cold-war-strategist s/; Frank O’Donnell and Yogesh Joshi, “Lost at Sea: The Arihant in India’s Quest for a Grand Strategy,” in Comparative Strategy vol. 33, no. 5 (2014), 466-481. 14 INS Arihant’s K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missile is reportedly in production. Moreover, INS Arihant test-fired the K-4 in March 2016. The K-4 submarinelaunched ballistic missile is believed to expand the range of the K-15 by a factor of five. 15 Bharat Karnad, “Aridhaman and Carriers,” Security Wise blog, Undated, https://bh aratkarnad.com/aridhaman-and-carriers. 16 Cochin Shipyard claims it will be 2023. Nilanthi Samaranayake 246 rier, Gurpreet Khurana of India’s National Maritime Foundation observes: “It stands out rather conspicuously in comparison to India, which has been operating aircraft carriers since 1961, but is yet to commission its first indigenous carrier named Vikrant.”17 Nevertheless, the carrier is expected to be fully equipped for combat by 2023. INS Vishal is a second indigenous aircraft carrier project, which will also be built by Cochin Shipyard. This aircraft carrier may be very different from previous ones in that it could be nuclear-powered. Moreover, the carrier may feature the United States’ electromagnetic launch system, which Washington has grown open to sharing.18 The establishment of the U.S.- India Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Cooperation has promoted the exchange of this technology. Unfortunately, all these proposed changes and possible technological shifts may delay completion of the project until 2030.19 Challenges to India’s naval power While the Indian Navy is undergoing a significant shift toward the acquisition of greater power-projection capabilities, challenges remain to this vision. The list of strategic challenges includes Pakistan’s expanding naval capabilities and nuclear arsenal, as well as the combined, two-front threat of China to augment Pakistan’s ability to challenge India in the naval realm. Meanwhile, increasing deployments by the PLA Navy to the Indian Ocean and China’s construction of its first overseas military base in Djibouti are clear evidence of its expanding presence in India’s maritime backyard. An additional cause of concern is the potential for the development of Gwadar, Pakistan, to function as a second Chinese military base in the Indian Ocean. Other challenges consist of missed opportunities, such as not developing the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) to a level where 17 Gurpreet S. Khurana, “China’s Aircraft Carrier: ‘Dreadnought’ or ‘Doctrinal Dilemma’?,” National Maritime Foundation, 23 May 2017, http://maritimeindia.or g/View%20Profile/636311121133309473.pdf. 18 Richard Sisk, “US Open to Sharing Catapult Replacement Technology with India: Carter,” Defense Tech, 12 April 2016, https://www.defensetech.org/2016/04/12/ us-open-to-sharing-catapult-replacement-technology-with-india-carter; REUTERS, “U.S. Technology Could Change How India Fires Planes Off Ships,” NDTV, 4 February 2015, http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/us-could-share-technology-that-c ould-change-how-india-fires-planes-off-ships-736972. 19 Aditya Bhat, “INS Vishal, India’s Next Aircraft Carrier, Will Be Nuclear-powered: Report,” International Business Times, 9 November 2016. India’s Naval and Maritime Power 247 it could go beyond its currently limited role to be as capable as military commands on the Indian mainland.20 However, Indian policymakers have clearly resisted making a decision to advance development of this strategic location, which would be important during disaster-relief operations.21 Given the array of challenges that India faces in the naval domain, this section will focus on a handful that are within the purview of Indian policymakers to undertake for action in the near-term horizon. Indigenous production requirements vs. capability needs By some estimates, the Indian Navy does not possess even half of the submarines, destroyers, and frigates to meet its requirements.22 These platform requirements are rooted in a wider discussion of the Modi administration’s push toward a stronger indigenous industry under the “Make in India” initiative. In fact, a point of pride in the Indian Navy has been that all of its forthcoming surface and undersea assets are being built indigenously.23 However, there may be an emerging tension between adhering to “Make in India” and acquiring the best platforms and systems in a timely manner for the Indian Navy. For example, the Indian Navy had rejected the indigenous industry option for carrier-based fighter aircraft—from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Tejas light combat aircraft—because it did not meet 20 Anit Mukherjee assesses that “the ANC is more of a coastal protection force than one which can project power.” See Anit Mukherjee, “The Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier: The Andaman and Nicobar Command,” in India’s Naval Strategy and Asian Security, ed. by Anit Mukherjee and C. Raja Mohan (London, New York: Routledge, 2016), 102. 21 Reasons include trying not to disturb tribal populations and delicate ecology as well as commit valuable resources to developing infrastructure that could be damaged again as during the 2004 tsunami. Nilanthi Samaranayake, Catherine Lea and Dmitry Gorenburg, Improving U.S.-India HA/DR Coordination in the Indian Ocean, (Arlington, VA: Center for Naval Analyses, July 2014), 27-28, https://www. cna.org/cna_files/pdf/DRM-2013-U-004941-Final2.pdf. 22 Ritika Behal, “Momentum in Indian Naval Shipbuilding,” Defence Production and Acquisition Biz News, undated, http://www.defproac.com/?p=2700. 23 At Modi’s meeting at BRICS in 2016, a slight exception to this trend occurred with the news that India will purchase 4 frigates from Russia. One of the ships will be constructed in Russia: Dmitry Gorenburg, “Russia-India Arms Deal,” Russian Military Reform, 19 October 2016, https://russiamil.wordpress.com/2016/10/1 9/russia-india-arms-deal. Nilanthi Samaranayake 248 the service’s operational requirements.24 Moreover, the Indian Navy continues to lack much-needed conventional submarines.25 Former Minister of Defence Manohar Parrikar publicly estimated the service needs 24 submarines.26 The issue of the Indian Navy obtaining new capabilities is made even more critical with regard to cutting-edge technology in the realms of cyber and space.27 Therefore, strong concerns persist about whether the Indian Navy will be able to acquire all the offensive and defensive capabilities that it needs in a timely manner, given current policy and bureaucratic constraints. State-owned shipyards and obstacles to private-sector growth Given the added momentum of “Make in India,” Indian shipyards are full of orders. Yet they are struggling to keep up with demand, and the Indian Navy is seeing delays in the fulfillment of its ship orders.28 Another chal- 24 Jay Menon, “India Begins Competition for Naval Fighter,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, 31 January 2017, http://aviationweek.com/aviation-week-space-technol ogy/india-begins-competition-naval-fighter. 25 Describing this challenge, Vice Admiral DM Deshpande, the Indian Navy’s Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition, concluded: “We need those submarines badly, because our [underwater] force levels are depleted. In case the SP model [Ministry of Defence’s Strategic Partnership policy] does not go ahead, for whatever reason, then we will have to look elsewhere” (Rahul Bedi, “Indian Navy Considering Alternative Options for Submarine Procurement,” Jane’s, 27 April 2017, http://www.janes.com/article/69862/indian-navy-considering-alternative-opt ions-for-submarine-procurement). 26 The Indian Navy also faces a critical shortage of multi-role ASW helicopters and has sought to purchase 16 Seahawk helicopters from Sikorsky. The service even submitted a dissent note to the Ministry of Defence, which felt the price was too high. See Rajat Pandit, “Lack of Helicopters Hits Navy's Operational Capabilities against Enemy Submarines,” The Times of India, 5 March 2017, https://timesofindi a.indiatimes.com/india/lack-of-helicopters-hits-navys-operational-capabilities-agai nst-enemy-submarines/articleshow/57481765.cms. 27 Abhijit Singh, “Future Technologies for the Indian Navy,” Observer Research Foundation, 23 February 2017, http://www.orfonline.org/expert-speaks/future-technolo gies-for-the-indian-navy. 28 Shipyards are delayed, including due to contracts for non-Indian recipients and the pursuit of follow-up orders. For example, some projects consist of ships meant for overseas export to Mauritius and Sri Lanka. Goa Shipyard Limited delivered its second fast patrol vessel (MCGS Valiant) to Mauritius ahead of schedule in April 2017. Meanwhile, Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai is seeking an order for three additional DCNS-designed submarines. India’s Naval and Maritime Power 249 lenge is that state-owned shipyards receive priority in opportunities to build platforms, while the private sector seeks to compete with these overtasked shipyards and do its part to advance the country’s indigenous defense industry. For example, Defense News finds that “India’s private shipyards are unhappy with a Ministry of Defense decision to nominate stateowned shipyard Goa Shipyard to build two Russian Krivak-class stealth frigates over two private sector competitors, Larsen & Toubro and Reliance Defence and Engineering.”29 How Indian policymakers manage the issue of delays in output by shipyards as well as the tension between support for state-owned and private sector shipyards will have long-term implications for the Indian Navy and the growth of the country’s domestic defense industry. Service equities and resources Budget concerns persist and may compromise the Indian Navy’s pursuit of greater capability. While it does not face as hefty costs for personnel as does the Indian Army, its budget for new equipment has declined.30 Moreover, this decline is in the larger context of a drop in the overall defense budget. The Indian Navy has consistently received 16% on average of the overall defense budget since 2013, whereas the Indian Air Force has ranged between 21% and 26% and the Indian Army has averaged 60%.31 Given the service’s ambitions and the threats in the maritime domain, the Indian Navy will be challenged by these budget constraints. In particular, it has actively pursued an American aircraft carrier launch system which will be quite costly. Generally, bringing acquisition goals in line with budgetary realities will be a serious challenge for the Indian Navy. 29 Vivek Raghuvanshi, “Goa Shipyard Nominated to Build Two Stealth Frigates for the Indian Navy,” Defense News, 15 March 2017, https://www.defensenews.com/n aval/2017/03/15/goa-shipyard-nominated-to-build-two-stealth-frigates-for-the-india n-navy/. 30 Laxman K. Behera, “India’s Defence Budget 2017-18: An Analysis,” IDSA Issue Brief, 3 February 2017, https://idsa.in/system/files/issuebrief/ib_india-defence-bud get-2017-18_lkbehera_030217.pdf; W. P. S. Sidhu, “A Disrupter’s Guide to India’s Defence Budget,” Live Mint, 13 February 2017, http://www.livemint.com/Opinion /5CyW7vnA4j5G9GWrcyVsZK/A-disrupters-guide-to-Indias-defence-budget.html. 31 Iskander Rehman, “India’s Fitful Quest for Seapower,” in India Review vol. 16, no. 2 (2017), 227-228. Nilanthi Samaranayake 250 Multiple sourcing for equipment India has attempted to diversify sourcing for defense equipment. This approach made sense given the country’s historical commitment to a nonaligned approach in international affairs. It also makes sense given the national focus on indigenous production and developing technology and knowledge exchange relationships with a variety of suppliers (e.g., Russia, France, and the United States). However, the need to integrate multiple systems that are sourced from different countries may pose a long-term challenge. For example, India is working with the United States on the development of a future aircraft carrier while recently signing a deal with an Israeli company for a naval defense system. Moreover, India’s French-designed submarines may require adjustments to work well with U.S. antisubmarine warfare aircraft. The implications for the interoperability of these platforms and systems may take years for observers to fully understand. India’s maritime power The Indian Navy’s 2015 maritime strategy, Ensuring Secure Seas: Indian Maritime Security Strategy, is a document of dual identities. It makes clear how far the service wants to go in terms of power projection across the Indian Ocean and beyond, but it also reveals how much the navy has done to ensure non-naval, domestic maritime security in recent years. This is elucidated in its Chapter 6: “Strategy for Coastal and Offshore Security.” Since India’s previous maritime strategy, Freedom to Use the Seas: India’s Maritime Military Strategy, was issued in 2007, the country has witnessed the terrorist attacks in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 (26/11). The terrorists came via a sea route from Pakistan, and the attacks resulted in 174 deaths and injuries to more than 300 people, adding to the security impetus. Coastal security As a result of the 26/11 attacks, the defense of India’s coastal areas became a top priority for the service. India has had its own coast guard service since the 1970s. However, the nature of the asymmetric, enduring threat emanating from Pakistan demanded a reevaluation of India’s entire capabilities to defend the homeland. Therefore, the Indian Navy became the India’s Naval and Maritime Power 251 lead agency responsible for ensuring coastal security.32 In fact, the 2015 maritime strategy reveals the extent to which meeting the goal of ensuring coastal and offshore security occupied the attention and resources of this service in the years after the Mumbai attacks. The tasking of coastal security to the navy perhaps was not the priority the service wished for itself, given its high-seas ambitions, yet, the Indian Navy embraced this responsibility. To meet this responsibility, the Indian Navy made progress on technological advancements to improve coastal security. In particular, this was seen through the creation of India’s National Command Control Communication Intelligence network that expanded the country’s maritime domain awareness by linking 51 radar stations (20 Navy and 31 Coast Guard) with joint operation centers around the country.33 Inputs are fused at the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurgaon, where in effect the Indian Navy aims to have a wide-ranging operational picture of movements stretching from the Arabian Sea and across the Bay of Bengal. India’s maritime outreach to neighbors An emerging component of India’s increasing maritime power is New Delhi’s outreach to Indian Ocean neighbors. Beginning with the 2004 tsunami to the present day, the country has bolstered its international reputation through disaster-relief operations conducted by the military, including the Indian Navy.34 In particular, there has been greater recognition of its value as a diplomatic tool.35 As mentioned above, a point of emphasis has been expanding on maritime domain awareness in the wider Indian Ocean region with friendly nations. For example, Prime Minister Modi unveiled work done on the Coastal Surveillance Radar System chains in Seychelles when visiting in 2015. When completed, the radar network will extend to Mauritius, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. Similarly, India seeks to sign agree- 32 Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (2015), ii; Kalyan Ray, “Coastal Security Bill Caught in Red Tape,” Deccan Herald, 25 May 2015, https://www.deccan herald.com/content/479520/coastal-security-bill-caught-red.html. 33 Gurpreet S. Khurana, Porthole: Geopolitical, Strategic and Maritime Terms and Concepts (New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2016), 134. 34 Samaranayake, Lea and Gorenburg (2014), 2 and 59. 35 For a discussion of the converging interests of India’s Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Navy, see Limaye (2017), 34-35. Nilanthi Samaranayake 252 ments with numerous partners in the Indian Ocean region (e.g., Australia and France in 2017) on non-naval ship traffic (so-called “white shipping”) to augment regional MDA and ultimately expand its operating picture of the entire ocean. In addition to technological cooperation, India is increasing its operational cooperation with regional coast guards. The navy carries out surveillance operations in the large exclusive economic zones of Mauritius, Seychelles, and Maldives. In 2011, the country pursued a maritime security trilateral framework with Maldives and Sri Lanka. The grouping has met at the national security advisor–level twice and carries out regular training meetings and exercises between coast guards. India’s bilateral coast guard exercise with Maldives, known as DOSTI, dates back to 1991 and was expanded in 2012 to include the Sri Lanka Coast Guard under this now trilateral framework. A new element of regional coast guard cooperation for India was announced during Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in 2015, when the two states concluded a memorandum of understanding between the services. This cooperation was expanded in 2017 through the establishment of standard operating procedures to combat transnational crime. At the navy-to-navy level, India has conducted longstanding coordinated patrols (CORPAT) with Indonesia and Thailand along their respective international maritime boundary lines (IMBL). Building on this type of interaction, India established its first CORPAT with Myanmar in 2013 and expanded its Bay of Bengal CORPATs with Bangladesh in 2018. At the multilateral level, India conducts the MILAN exercise every two years during which regional navies and coast guards assemble in Port Blair for a series of maneuvers and exchanges. Finally, the Indian Navy provides retired equipment and platforms to Indian Ocean countries’ maritime forces, while its shipyards have begun building several platforms for export overseas. For example, the offshore patrol vessel MCGS Barracuda was built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) shipyard in Kolkata and the fast attack vessel MCGS Victory was built at Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL). Both were sold to Mauritius’s National Coast Guard on a line of credit that benefited India’s indigenous production efforts as well as the recipient force. India’s GSL is also building two offshore patrol vessels for the Sri Lanka Navy through a line of credit. The first, SLNS Sayurala, arrived in Sri Lanka in July 2017. India has thus taken a broader view of its role and presence in its maritime neighborhood, beginning with security at the coastline and extending across the seas. In the last 15 years, Indian policymakers have increasingly recognized the importance of the maritime domain for addressing the country’s economic and resource interests as well as demonstrating In- India’s Naval and Maritime Power 253 dia’s leadership across the oceanic region. Growing numbers of Indian nationals working overseas sent home an estimated $70 billion in remittances in 2015.36 The Indian Navy has been called on to protect nationals in unstable locations like the Middle East by conducting non-combatant evacuation operations to ensure their safe return home after the onset of hostilities.37 India has come far from a time in which naval strategists lamented its “sea blindness”38 and “inherited continental-mindset”39 as a result of the country’s more pressing security threats on land from Pakistan. Challenges to India’s maritime power Clearly India has emerged as not only a strong naval power but also a regional maritime power with bolstered coastal defenses and relationships across the Indian Ocean. However, challenges remain to its ability to project non-naval, maritime power. These are threat-based and opportunity cost–based challenges rooted in perennial issues of insufficient resources,40 bureaucratic stove-piping and inefficiencies, and the lack of political will to effect major change. 36 Constantino Xavier, “India’s Expatriate Evacuation Operations: Bringing the Diaspora Home,” Carnegie India (December 2016), 12, http://carnegieendowment.org/ files/CP_299_Xavier_India_Diaspora_Final.pdf. 37 Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (2015), 30-31. 38 Gurpreet S. Khurana, “India’s ‘Sea-Blindness’,” Indian Defence Review (Jan-March 2009), 128, https://www.academia.edu/7727229/India_s_Sea-Blindness_Maritime_ Domain_as_Weakest_Link_of_National_Security. 39 Arun Prakash, “Maritime Security of India: Future Challenges,” Keynote Speech, YB Chavan Memorial Talk, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, 26 November 2013, http://www.idsa.in/keyspeeches/MaritimeSecurityOfIndiaFutureChallenges. 40 Vasudha Chawla of India’s National Maritime Foundation points out that Union Budget for the 2017-2018 did not even include the word “maritime.” See Vasudha Chawla, “Analysis of the Union Budget 2017: The Maritime Context,” National Maritime Foundation, 3 March 2017, http://www.maritimeindia.org/View%20Prof ile/636240944322459994.pdf. Nilanthi Samaranayake 254 Threat-based Domestic Terrorism emanating from Pakistan continues to pose the primary challenge to India—even in the non-naval, maritime realm. The country has responded to the 26/11 attacks by establishing a more technologically driven approach to addressing coastal defense such as the NC3I network and IMAC fusion capability. Yet questions have emerged about the efficacy of the NC3I network in detecting ships in the Arabian Sea. As recently as February 2017, four Pakistani fishing boats were discovered off the coast of Gujarat, raising the specter of another 26/11 incident. Beyond those serving in senior levels, it is difficult for observers to determine the effectiveness of the network due to the sensitive nature of the subject. Abroad India needs to worry about coastal security not only at home but also abroad. It will need to confront and plan for the threat posed by potential terrorist attacks on its overseas maritime infrastructure.41 For instance, in Sittwe, Myanmar, the Indian-built port is located in the unstable Rakhine state where Rohingya refugees reside. Locals there live very close to the port facilities.42 According to the International Crisis Group, a new Rohingya militancy may be emerging in Rakhine State, exacerbated by insecurity over access to food sources.43 Similarly, planned Indian investments in Chabahar port in the restive Baluchistan region in Iran—and less than 100 kilometers from Gwadar in neighboring Pakistan—could also be subject to attacks. Such terrorist activity would raise questions about a potential role for the Indian Navy in safeguarding these ports. 41 Nilanthi Samaranayake, “Traditional and Non-Traditional Security Issues in the Indian Ocean,” Vivekenanda International Foundation (VIF) conference on “Security in the Indian Ocean Region,” New Delhi, 7 February 2017. 42 Author’s conversation with a Myanmar-based journalist, 2017. 43 International Crisis Group, Myanmar: A New Muslim Insurgency in Rakhine State,” Report No. 286 (15 December 2016), https://www.crisisgroup.org/asia/south-eastasia/myanmar/283-myanmar-new-muslim-insurgency-rakhine-state. India’s Naval and Maritime Power 255 Opportunity cost-based Economic dimension of maritime power India faces a long-term cost if it fails to project a comprehensive maritime presence in the Indian Ocean, going beyond solely the naval or military dimension of power. After all, the region has been officially identified as its primary area of interest, and the national diaspora extends throughout it.44 India needs to build on its diplomatic, military, and cultural presence and expand the economic dimension of its maritime power. China has stood out in recent years for its growing capabilities not only in the naval realm but also in non-naval maritime realms such as the shipbuilding and the fishing industries.45 Over the past decade, Beijing has financed, constructed, and operated commercial maritime infrastructure in Indian Ocean countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, and Pakistan. These activities have recently been subsumed under the Belt and Road Initiative. W.P.S. Sidhu contrasts China’s investment of $1 billion in Gwadar, Pakistan, and commitment of another $46 billion as part of this initiative with India’s $85 million investment in Chabahar across the border in Iran. He notes a national willingness to invest up to $20 billion, but acknowledges uncertainty whether India can raise the money.46 India’s slow entry into the commercial infrastructure development game is hurting its standing in its natural sphere of influence. While this line of effort is certainly not a responsibility of the country’s naval and maritime forces, China’s Belt and Road Initiative is nevertheless a major strategic challenge. Furthermore, this dimension directly affects the Indian Navy, which will need to account for logistical facilities in the Indian Ocean that may support PLA Navy assets. India typically only minimally invests in ports abroad, through either government-led or public-private partnerships. Obviously, it still has capacity challenges, and the country is still largely focused on upgrading domestic maritime infrastructure rather than investing abroad. The Modi administration’s Sagar Mala project aims to increase the country’s capacity to handle cargo and streamline processing procedures so that less cargo will need to be transshipped in Singapore or Colombo, for example. Despite 44 Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (2015), 30-31 and 32-35. 45 Michael McDevitt, Becoming a Great ‘Maritime Power’: A Chinese Dream, (Arlington, VA: Center for Naval Analyses, June 2016) https://www.cna.org/cna_files/pdf /IRM-2016-U-013646.pdf. 46 Sidhu (2016). Nilanthi Samaranayake 256 offers from neighboring countries to develop foreign ports to enhance regional trade, neither the Indian government nor the private sector has converted opportunity into action.47 At the same time, extraregional countries such as China and Japan have undertaken ambitious activities to expand maritime infrastructure in the Indian Ocean. As a result, India is not shaping projects in the region of its greatest interest. Prime Minister Modi launched the concept of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR, meaning “Ocean”) while in Mauritius in 2015.48 While this concept has the potential to encompass the economic dimension of maritime power, it currently emphasizes military-based events in the region. For example, a spokesperson from the Indian Navy used the #SAGAR Twitter hashtag to describe its ships’ deployments in the southern Indian Ocean.49 India appears to be relying in the short term on naval diplomacy because this is its strength, whereas commercial maritime investment is not. Meanwhile, Project Mausam debuted early under the Modi administration. This idea, promoted via the Ministry of Culture, seeks to reinforce India’s preeminence in the Indian Ocean through softpower diplomacy.50 However, little evidence exists at present that the Indian government or private sector are resourcing these visions to expand the economic dimension of maritime power. Despite frequent media reports that Indian companies will invest in seaports in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, no projects have commenced. When India has chosen to invest in port projects abroad, its interests have been strategic rather than commercial. India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) through Essar Group developed the Kaladan transport project in Sittwe, Myanmar. The primary goal of this sea and land project was for India to circumvent Bangladesh to connect with its landlocked northeastern states beyond the narrow and hilly Siliguri Corridor in West Bengal. Ties have since improved and have opened up greater access to 47 Nilanthi Samaranayake, “India’s Key to Sri Lanka: Maritime Infrastructure Development,” The Diplomat, 31 March 2015, http://thediplomat.com/2015/03/indias-k ey-to-sri-lanka-maritime-infrastructure-development. 48 Narendra Modi, “Text of the PM’s Remarks on the Commissioning of Coast Ship Barracuda,” 13 March 2015, http://www.narendramodi.in/text-of-the-pms-remarks -on-the-commissioning-of-coast-ship-barracuda-2954. 49 From Twitter: “SpokespersonNavy@indiannavy #SAGAR INS Shardul on a 2month long deployment in South Indian Ocean to provide surveillance support in the region @SpokespersonMoD.” 3:50 AM – 5 Apr 2017. 50 Government of India, Ministry of Culture, “Project Mausam,” 20 March 2017, http://www.indiaculture.nic.in/project-mausam. India’s Naval and Maritime Power 257 northeastern Indian states across Bangladesh in recent years.51 Similarly, the aim of developing Chabahar port in Iran was rooted in finding a way to bypass Pakistan for access to Afghanistan. In more recent discourse, the project has been marketed as a way to connect to the International North- South Transport Corridor, but the strategic rationale for the port project cannot be downplayed. At present, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust have concluded a joint venture with Iran’s Aria Banader to develop Chabahar, reinjecting life into the idea after international sanctions on Iran challenged viability of the project. Finally, reports exist that India is seeking to build infrastructure (i.e., jetties and airstrips) for strategic reasons in Seychelles and Mauritius. The former appears to be of direct benefit to the Seychelles Coast Guard in Assumption Island; the latter appears to aid the connectivity of Agalega Islands with the national capital in Port Louis. Neither project appears to be driven by commercial reasons; both are in key locations in the southwest Indian Ocean. Another challenge to Indian initiatives to build commercial maritime infrastructure is the delay in executing and completing planned development projects. For example, the Kaladan project has taken much longer to complete than was planned.52 These delays are often associated with Indian construction projects in neighboring countries and pose a long-term challenge for India in the maritime domain.53 By contrast, China benefits from state-led development opportunities and can conduct projects in the Indian Ocean region much more swiftly. Coastal security architecture A host of organizational, legal, and operational challenges confront India’s development of its coastal security architecture. Assigning responsibilities for local, state, and national authorities is a challenge for any country under a federal system. India is currently trying to harness a multitude of stakeholders—more than 20—at all these levels and create a coherent ar- 51 G. Padmaja, “Sheikh Hasina’s Visit to India: Consolidating Maritime Cooperation,” National Maritime Foundation, 3 May 2017, http://maritimeindia.org/View% 20Profile/636293680405315131.pdf. 52 Atsuko Mizuno, “Are India’s Plans in Myanmar a Pipeline or a Pipe Dream?” East Asia Forum, 31 March 2017, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2017/03/31/are-indias-p lans-in-myanmar-a-pipeline-or-a-pipe-dream. 53 Author’s conversations with officials and experts from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Maldives, 2016-2017. Nilanthi Samaranayake 258 chitecture to secure its long 7,500 km coastline. These are complex bureaucratic tasks. Stakeholders include the Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence, and Shipping; Customs and Fisheries Departments; and intelligence community agencies. The need to focus these disparate organizations on the issue of coastal security and outline a clear command structure remain challenges.54 Prakash Gopal of India’s National Maritime Foundation observes that the apex coordinating body for coastal security is not even a full-time entity, meeting only twice a year, and is under the chair of too senior an official—the Cabinet Secretary.55 Another challenge to realizing India’s coastal security architecture is legal. A coastal security bill meant for Parliament has lagged at the ministerial level since 2013.56 In 2014, the incoming Modi administration asserted its commitment under this bill to establish a National Maritime Authority (NMA) to provide clear legal powers to the various coastal security stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels.57 Writing in 2014, Vijay Sakhuja observed that the lack of progress on this bill can negatively impact the country’s maritime security.58 At the time of this writing, the NMA has not materialized. The lack of legislative progress continues to limit the powers of the Indian Coast Guard and Navy to act against ships suspected not only of terrorist intent but also other maritime crimes, such as the trafficking of arms, humans, and drugs as well as illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. Operational challenges also confront India with regard to coastal security. For example, the responsibility of state-level marine police only spans out to 12 nautical miles, yet they do not have the capabilities to monitor 54 Hamsini Hariharan, “Coastal Security in India: An Appraisal,” Logos, Takshashila Institution, 26 September 2016; Takshashila Institution, “Reviewing India’s Coastal Security Architecture,” Takshashila Blue Paper, 26 September 2016, http://t akshashila.org.in/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Takshashila-Blue-Paper-on-Indian- Coastal-Security-Architecture.pdf. 55 Prakash Gopal, “Challenges of Littoral Space Management in the Indian Context,” The Oceans Dialogue 2017: Towards a Common Prosperity Framework, Observer Research Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram, 21 April 2017. 56 Ray (2015). 57 Pandit (2014); Abhijit Singh, “Why India’s Coastal Security Project Is Still a Work in Progress,” Raisina Debates, Observer Research Foundation, 25 November 2016, http://www.orfonline.org/expert-speaks/why-indias-coastal-security-project-is-stilla-work-in-progress. 58 Vijay Sakhuja, “Maritime Matters – India and Maritime Security: Do More,” IPCS Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, 1 December 2014, http://www.ipcs.org/articl e/india/india-reinforces-maritime-domain-awareness-but-challenges-remain-4764. html. India’s Naval and Maritime Power 259 an area of this size. Moreover, even though the Indian Coast Guard is responsible for the area within 12 and 200 nautical miles, while the Indian Navy bears responsibility for the area beyond 200 miles, the navy is the leading authority on the subject of coastal security and even works with the coast guard within the 200 limit. The major complicating factor is the state-level dimension of coastal security in India. Resources for the coastal states’ policing are not as great as needed, creating operational challenges.59 This level of India’s three-tier coastal security plans is especially crucial when recalling the considerable damage that can be inflicted from 12 nm offshore. An additional operational challenge is linguistic. Abhijit Singh observes that languages differ across Indian states, while the Coast Guard is generally not as proficient in regional languages and dialects as the underresourced state-level police. Regular interaction with fishing communities and knowledge of local customs and language facilitates the collection of actionable intelligence, underscoring the critical role of local police in ensuring coastal security.60 These operational challenges are of paramount importance because coastal security has clear implications for the defense of the homeland. Recommendations This chapter has sought to demonstrate the host of naval and maritime challenges confronting India. From rising strategic challenges emanating from China and enduring threats from Pakistan to threats on the coastline, the Indian Navy has a full plate of issues to confront. Policymakers in New Delhi will need to navigate these challenges to the nation’s overall maritime standing in the Indian Ocean, some of which could complicate the future planning and operations of the navy. With regard to naval challenges, Indian policymakers will need to carefully manage issues such as indigenous production requirements and multiple sourcing of platforms and systems. On balance, despite the proportion of indigenous production and the need to diversify, improving the Indian Navy’s capabilities should remain the priority. The service is facing more threats and missions in the primary area of responsibility in the Indi- 59 “Sea of Change in Mumbai’s Coastal Security after 26/11 Attacks,” Hindustan Times, 21 June 2016, https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai/sea-of-change-inmumbai-s-coastal-security-after-26-11-attacks/story-aUl0X9cBeKbspXkWWU6oOJ. html. 60 Abhijit Singh in Takshashila Institution (2016). Nilanthi Samaranayake 260 an Ocean as well as a secondary responsibility in the Pacific. The Indian Navy will need more resources to respond to these issues. As well, defense policymakers should consider removing obstacles to the growth of India’s private defense sector when possible. Again, ensuring the speedy delivery of platforms and systems needed by the Indian Navy should be the focus. Regarding India’s non-naval, maritime challenges, policymakers should elevate the economic dimension of India’s maritime power. International maritime infrastructure projects are long overdue in the four corners of the Indian Ocean. Options include working with Japan for financing or devising public-private partnerships. These types of activities can help build ports and special economic zones, thereby promoting connectivity under the auspices of Prime Minister Modi’s SAGAR initiative. While India still has capacity challenges in financing maritime infrastructure development, even without this domestic handicap, policymakers should take steps to mitigate delays to the execution of projects, such as in Sittwe, Myanmar. To address the complex subject of coastal security, the idea of standing up a Central Marine Police Force appears to have backing from the Ministry of Home Affairs and should be further pursued. Moreover, India can draw on its active community of think tanks and their ability to assemble various stakeholders in each of the affected coastal states. Given the MEA’s example of supporting efforts to showcase India’s maritime diplomacy through events such as the Raisina Dialogue and the Indian Ocean Conference, the Ministry of Home Affairs could bring more attention to coastal security through workshops in all affected states. Another option is for India to explore ways to seek lessons learned from the United States’ experience with improving coastal security under a federal system. 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References

Abstract

The 21st century is witnessing renewed tension as conflicts between major powers, serious concerns about future security alliances and global, even generational, security policy challenges arise. In the light of this, naval forces and maritime security, and understanding their underlying strategic rationale, are gaining momentum and importance. What are the roles and missions of naval forces, and how have states and the institutions themselves sought to frame their goals and methods? This book brings together experts from the United States, Europe, and Asia to reflect on how maritime and naval strategy is conceptualised and how it has been used. It celebrates the life and work of Peter M. Swartz, Captain (US Navy) ret., who since contributing to ‘The Maritime Strategy’ of the 1980s as a young Pentagon officer, has been a mentor, friend, intellectual beacon and the foremost purveyor of maritime expertise to the global naval community. With contributions by James Bergeron, Sebastian Bruns, Seth Cropsey, Larissa Forster, Michael Haas, John Hattendorf, Peter Haynes, Andrzej Makowski, Amund Lundesgaard, Narushige Michishita, Martin Murphy, Sarandis Papadopoulos, Nilanthi Samaranayake, Jeremy Stöhs, Eric Thompson, Geoffrey Till, Sarah Vogler, Steve Wills.

Zusammenfassung

Großmachtkonflikte, die Zukunft von sicherheitspolitischen Institutionen sowie transnationalen Generationenherausforderungen bergen eine neue globale Unsicherheit. Vor diesem Hintergrund bekommen maritime Sicherheit und Seestreitkräfte sowie deren Einordnung im außenpolitischen Werkzeugkasten eine zunehmende Bedeutung. Was sind die Rollen und Einsatzaufgaben von Seemacht, und wie haben Staaten und ihre Institutionen maritime Ziele, Mittel und Wege konzeptualisiert? Dieser Sammelband bringt ausgewiesene Experten aus den USA, Europa und Asien zusammen, die ihre Perspektive auf maritime Strategie teilen. Das Buch dient gleichzeitig die Festschrift für Peter M. Swartz, Kapitän zur See a.D. der US-Marine, der seit seiner Arbeit als einer der Autoren der „Maritime Strategy“ (1980er) als Mentor, Freund, intellektueller Leuchtturm und vor allen Dingen als Spiritus Rektor wesentlich zur Schärfung des Verständnisses von Seestrategie in den globalen Beziehungen beigetragen hat. Mit Beiträgen von James Bergeron, Sebastian Bruns, Seth Cropsey, Larissa Forster, Michael Haas, John Hattendorf, Peter Haynes, Andrzej Makowski, Amund Lundesgaard, Narushige Michishita, Martin Murphy, Sarandis Papadopoulos, Nilanthi Samaranayake, Jeremy Stöhs, Eric Thompson, Geoffrey Till, Sarah Vogler, Steve Wills.