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India Showcases Naval Advances

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By William Tucker
Chief Correspondent for In Homeland Security

Earlier this week India activated the reactor on board its indigenously built INS Arihant nuclear submarine and launched a new aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, that was likewise homegrown. India has employed aircraft carriers and nuclear powered submarines in its navy previously, but the local build of these crafts add a different dimension to India’s military capabilities. As a nuclear power, India has sought to expand its nuclear deterrent to sea based launching capabilities to complement its existing air and land launch facilities. Furthermore, India is modernizing its aircraft carrier fleet – it wants three carriers by 2020 – which will allow the subcontinent nation to expand its air coverage to choke points around Southeast Asia. To be sure, this new indigenous manufacturing ability is not without growing pains. The Vikrant alone will be almost three times the cost by the time it is commissioned in 2015. It is already several years behind schedule. Bear in mind that India is trying to advance its shipbuilding capabilities simultaneously – no small feat considering the political and economical strain such a cost can impose on a poor nation.

I am planning on doing a more in depth piece on the naval expansion that is occurring among the sea faring Asian powers in the near future. Stay tuned.

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