To counter potential threats from the Chinese Navy, India adopts a combination of deterrence and cooperation strategies

Dive into India's strategic military acquisitions, including Rafale Marine fighter aircraft, Scorpene submarines, MQ-9B armed drones, and Poseidon-8I aircraft.

India's procurement of 26 marine Rafale fighter aircraft is set to provide a significant strategic edge in the Indian Ocean Region. The marine variant of the Rafale is specially designed for the challenging demands of aircraft carrier operations. It includes features for high-impact landings, catapult or ramp launches, and resilience in corrosive saltwater environments.

This acquisition will notably strengthen the operational capabilities of India's prized aircraft carriers, the INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya, which currently deploy Russian Mikoyan MiG-29s.

Enhancing Carrier Operations To Counter Growing Threats

India's strategic move to acquire Rafale Marines serves to counteract the increasing threat posed by China's growing interest and espionage activities in the Indian Ocean Region. The Indian Navy's Air Arm, which has been grappling with a shortage of fighter aircraft, will significantly benefit from this deal.

India's government has been actively approving major acquisitions, including submarines, drones, and air defense systems, as part of an ongoing effort to modernize the military's arsenal. This modernization is in response to the combined threat posed by China and Pakistan in the Indian Ocean Region.

Submarine Capabilities

Inclusion of three Scorpene submarines, also from France, will play a crucial role in enhancing the Indian Navy's underwater capabilities. These submarines are part of the P75(I) program, focusing on constructing six conventional submarines equipped with advanced air-independent propulsion systems for extended underwater operations.

India's acquisition of 31 MQ-9B armed drones from the US, valued at $3 billion, will significantly boost its military surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. This move also elevates India's prominence in the Indian Ocean Region, as China lacks high-altitude long-endurance drones in its arsenal.

Strengthening The Fleet

The Indian Navy is further expanding its fleet with more Poseidon-8I aircraft, which are essential for enhancing maritime surveillance capabilities. These aircraft play a crucial role in ensuring maritime security and defence. India is actively working on domestically producing 97 drones for its armed forces, addressing medium altitude long-endurance requirements and further enhancing its defence capabilities. Through exercises like Malabar with QUAD peers (US, Japan, and Australia) and Varuna with France, the Indian Navy is expanding its presence and influence in the Indian Ocean Region to effectively counter the growing threat from China.