It’s been two years to the introduction of the so-called Mission-Based Deployments; the Indian Navy has started to equip its warships with advanced electronic navigation systems. The Indian Navy has informed the government about the re-orientation of its fleet patterns after it found a number of Chinese warships, including submarines, venturing into the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Navy has been prodded into action to counter what is known as Beijing’s “string of pearls” strategy, launched after the turn of the millennium to expand its geopolitical influence by building ports and other civilian maritime infrastructure along the Indian Ocean periphery.
China has also established a military surveillance facility on Myanmar’s Coco Island near the Malacca Strait, helping to facilitate the entry of Chinese naval ships into the Indian Ocean region. China’s presence grew steadily following its participation in anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia in 2008.
The Indian Navy, while working on the execution part of the Indian Naval Indigenisation Plan 2015-30, mentioned that the electronic charts and planning system should be capable of monitoring and guiding multiple ships on multiple routes.
Prior to this, the navy used to operate with paper charts for operational planning purpose. This was a traditional operational planning system that will be soon replaced with advanced and complex electronic chart display and information systems.
A navy document stated – “The system will provide the necessary ability to select, display, and interpret relevant information, including the use of navigational functions associated with route planning and monitoring.”
The navy also proposed global traders to participate in field trials in India and also to guide them with the latest technological advancements in the field so that the systems can be made in India as well. The new systems are expected to strengthen the country’s Mission Based Deployments to be used in international waters.