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Indian Navy deploys 8 submarines to send clear message to China.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the Western Naval Command on March 25, 2024, eight submarines were observed operating together off the Western Seaboard in a recent exercise in the Indian Ocean. This move is reflective of the Indian Navy's intention to assert its presence and readiness in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) amidst the growing maritime assertiveness of the PLA Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Eight Indian submarines. (Picture source: Indian Navy)

The Chinese Navy, or the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), has a significantly larger fleet than the Indian Navy, with the PLAN operating the world's second-largest Navy in terms of tonnage and a battle force of approximately 350 surface ships and submarines.

Submarine Capabilities:

China has a clear advantage in the submarine domain, with a larger fleet of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs).

The PLAN operates six Jin-class SSBNs capable of launching JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with a range of 7,200km, compared to India's single SSBN, INS Arihant.

The PLAN also has a significant number of advanced conventional submarines, including the Yuan-class equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems for enhanced stealth and endurance​.

Aircraft Carriers and Seaborne Airpower:

The Chinese Navy has two aircraft carriers, CNS Liaoning and CNS Shandong, which can deploy more sea-based aircraft than India's sole aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya. However, India is not far behind, with INS Vikrant joining its fleet and plans for a third carrier, INS Vishaal.​

The Indian Navy focusing on playing a critical role in the Indo-Pacific region to maintain open sea lanes and freedom of navigation. India is increasingly viewed as a key player in countering Chinese influence in the region, with strategic partnerships, notably with the United States.

Conversely, China's naval strategy emphasizes access to strategic ports and extending its operational reach, supported by rapid shipbuilding capabilities that outpace many other countries​.

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