India India Deploys Three Warships To South China Sea

Gessler

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New Delhi: The Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet has made operational deployments of three of its ships in the South China Sea, a region where Beijing has territorial disputes with its neighbours.

INS Delhi, a guided missile destroyer is accompanied by the INS Shakti, a fleet tanker, and INS Kiltan, an anti-submarine warfare corvette. Led by Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankar, the ships reached Singapore Monday. In a press statement, the Indian Navy said that the warships were received by the personnel of the Republic of Singapore Navy and the High Commissioner of India in Singapore.

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“This visit is poised to further strengthen the longstanding friendship and cooperation between the two maritime nations through a series of engagements and activities,” it added.

The deployment comes at a time when Yuan Wang 03, a Chinese missile and satellite tracking vessel, has entered the Indian Ocean Region.

Even as India does not have a direct stake in the region of South China Sea, it remains a concern for the Indian Navy due to Beijing’s dominance in the region. At an event in New Delhi in November last year, the then Navy chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar had said the the situation in South China Sea was “fragile”, adding that the “violations of established Codes of Conduct or Confidence Building Measures, posed a clear and present danger to good order and discipline at sea.”

The dispute in South China Sea pertains to China claiming large swathes in the region, as demarcated by its ‘nine-dash line’.

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China’s blanket claims are disputed by several countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. India has upped its defence ties with these countries, with the Philippine having become first international buyer of the shore-based, anti-ship variant of BrahMos missile.

Apart from being a major shipping route with trade worth trillions, the South China Sea is also home to rich fishing grounds. The region could become a global flashpoint in case tensions were to flare up.

During the stay of Indian warships at the harbour, various activities including interactions with the High Commission of India, professional interactions with the Republic of Singapore Navy are scheduled to take place. Indian Navy personnel will also be interacting with academia and community outreach amongst other activities.

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The Indian Navy added that it has had robust relations with the Republic of Singapore Navy, spanning three decades of cooperation, coordination and collaboration with regular visits, exchange of best practices, and reciprocal training arrangements. The current deployment underscores the strong linkages between both the navies, it added.

Last year, in December, INS Kadmatt, as part of a Long Range Operational Deployment to the North Pacific Ocean and South China Sea, visited Thailand. At that time, it also docked in Manila, the Philippines.

(Edited by Tony Rai)


Will be interesting to see where they go after finishing up in Singapore. I'd bet Philippines is on the itinerary:

 

Saithan

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Nice move, but I don't imagine visiting vessels from time to time is going to be deterrent enough for China, who is establishing permanent presence.

I don't see how US and PH doing excercises is going to deter China either.

TBH a permanent presence is needed to safeguard the claims of the nations in that area. So unless Philippines establishes naval base and population of sorts on the biggest island there it's going to be a losing battle.

If possible creating tourism destinations after the investments to cover the cost would be a nice way to create a nicer air to the whole area.
 

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Nice move, but I don't imagine visiting vessels from time to time is going to be deterrent enough for China, who is establishing permanent presence.

I don't see how US and PH doing excercises is going to deter China either.

TBH a permanent presence is needed to safeguard the claims of the nations in that area. So unless Philippines establishes naval base and population of sorts on the biggest island there it's going to be a losing battle.

If possible creating tourism destinations after the investments to cover the cost would be a nice way to create a nicer air to the whole area.

It is hard to deter superpowers in their own backyard. USA can only do that due to its superior naval and air capabilities and persistent presence. (I.e carrier strike groups and bases in Philippines close to South China Sea) It won't take that long, maybe a deacade until USA looses its regional overmatch that they enjoy today. Chinese aim to achieve regional parity with US military by 2035 is very much achievable IMO.


One thing that continues to favor USA though, Having strong regional allies like Japan, ROK, Taiwan and Australia. That is something PRC has a serious problem with. They are alone.
 
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Azeri441

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It is hard to deter superpowers in their own backyard. USA can only do that due to its superior naval and air capabilities and persistent presence. (I.e carrier strike groups and bases in Philippines close to South China Sea) It won't take that long, maybe a deacade until USA looses its regional overmatch that they enjoy today. Chinese aim to achieve regional parity with US military by 2035 is very much achievable IMO.

Highly unlikely, China is just isolating itself further by creating more enemies in SCS, just few years ago, US didn't even have a base in Philippines, now they are even further expanding their influence, and are deploying long range area denial systems such as HIMARS, anti-ship missiles and tomahawks

US doesn't even need to bring in its carrier groups close, all the long range weapon systems stationed on the islands + long range anti-ship missiles from bombers can pretty much devastate the Chinese fleet.

China really messed up pushing Philippines to USA, and now US can block off entire SCS just from the islands.

I'm not even mentioning all the US allies in the region rapidly expanding their own naval and long range strike capabilities as well


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Highly unlikely, China is just isolating itself further by creating more enemies in SCS, just few years ago, US didn't even have a base in Philippines, now they are even further expanding their influence, and are deploying long range area denial systems such as HIMARS, anti-ship missiles and tomahawks

US doesn't even need to bring in its carrier groups close, all the long range weapon systems stationed on the islands + long range anti-ship missiles from bombers can pretty much devastate the Chinese fleet.

Well, one can say, those island installations can be even more easily taken out by PLA rocket forces and PLAAF as they are fixed and assembled in small places.

High intensity multi-domain conflict is never so straight forward. There are pros and cons of both countries' force posture, strategies and specific capabilities they bring.

And yes, I did say US enjoy the advantage of having strong regional allies. India is being slowly included into that now.
 

Azeri441

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Well, one can say, those island installations can be even more easily taken out by PLA rocket forces and PLAAF as they are fixed and assembled in small places.

High intensity multi-domain conflict is never so straight forward. There are pros and cons of both countries' force posture, strategies and specific capabilities they bring.

And yes, I did say US enjoy the advantage of having strong regional allies. India is being slowly included into that now.

how are they fixed? All those area denial systems have high mobility, HIMARS, Naval Strike Missile, land based Tomahawk launchers, air launched LRASM and etc.

US can cover half of SCS just with NSM, and even hit naval bases in China with PrSM and Tomahawks from Philippines.


Like I said, China really screwed up by pushing Philippines to US, Philippines were trying to remain neutral but were pretty much forced to invite US for protection

China handed a big part of SCS strategy to US on a silver platter
 

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how are they fixed? All those area denial systems have high mobility, HIMARS, Naval Strike Missile, land based Tomahawk launchers, air launched LRASM and etc.

Islands are small. Less place to maneuver and hide. Unlike the Chinese main land.

US can cover half of SCS just with NSM, and even hit naval bases in China with PrSM and Tomahawks from Philippines.


Yeah, and China covers the whole region extensively with its own AShM and long range precision strikes. Does that mean the US fleet would be destroyed easily? No. Same is true with PLAN fleet. These things are more complicated.
 

Azeri441

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Islands are small. Less place to maneuver and hide. Unlike the Chinese main land.

US wouldn't need to deploy those systems on the small islands, they can deploy them on the upper part of the main Philippine islands which are not small, and cover most of SCS

Yeah, and China covers the whole region extensively with its own AShM and long range precision strikes. Does that mean the US fleet would be destroyed easily? No. Same is true with PLAN fleet. These things are more complicated.


how is that an equivalent comparison? The island chain US is deployed in effectively encircles the Chinese fleet, the US fleet is sailing in the wide open ocean with no restrictions 1000 kms away from China's main land
 

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I don't think your assesment is realistic. Especially not considering how the militia-fisherman vessels from China are so abundant.

It is not a sustainable strategy. The only sustainable strategy would be to populate the biggest island and establish living conditions, and that entails everything.

Including social life and all that stuff.
 

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US wouldn't need to deploy those systems on the small islands, they can deploy them on the upper part of the main Philippine islands which are not small, and cover most of SCS




how is that an equivalent comparison? The island chain US is deployed in effectively encircles the Chinese fleet, the US fleet is sailing in the wide open ocean with no restrictions 1000 kms away from China's main land

Point is, putting enemy assets within reach and at risk. Whether through encirclement (in case of USA) or with A2 AD strategy (in case of PRC) with different objectives in mind for both countries. US objective is to not let China out of the first island chain. While Chinese objective is to not let USN in. Both will try to attain their own objectives while simultaneously denying others theirs.

According to your logic if US land based fires are good enough to trash PLAN within first island chain, then Chinese land base A2 AD fires are also good enough to trash USN if they try to enter first island chain, thus effectively keeping them out of the fight.

What I am saying is, neither countries land based fires are good enough to completely deter adversaries naval forces from operating.
 

Azeri441

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According to your logic if US land based fires are good enough to trash PLAN within first island chain, then Chinese land base A2 AD fires are also good enough to trash USN if they try to enter first island chain, thus effectively keeping them out of the fight.

Which is true, which is why US is focusing on long range area denial systems and rapid deployment within the first island chain, so the carrier battlegroups don't have to enter the confined space of SCS, the battlegroups will be operating far away from China's coast to provide area cover for the island chain.

The difference is USN has the freedom and capability to operate in the open ocean, China's navy has to breakthrough and defend against hundreds of systems capable of targeting them within their own waters.

Just because I say US has China surrounded in SCS, doesn't mean USN can just walk in, China employs similar area denial systems.
 

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The US strategy becomes obsolete if PH changes to a president that stops the cooperation with the US. and demands the closure and removal of said systems and bases and such.

Trust me there are Filipinos who don't bother with SCS because they have enough problems with their "main" islands already. So I don't see any sustainability in the US strategy in the long run.
 

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Indian shipyards are already in a frenzy to sign MSRA agreements with US navy.
Along with this massive deal.
We have the indigenous Kestral/WhAP which has been developed by DRDO and will be produced by Tata and Mahindra serving the same purpose as Stryker.

It seems like we're considering Stryker since that looks like a pre-conditional purchase for 80% ToT of GE-414
 

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The US strategy becomes obsolete if PH changes to a president that stops the cooperation with the US. and demands the closure and removal of said systems and bases and such.

Trust me there are Filipinos who don't bother with SCS because they have enough problems with their "main" islands already. So I don't see any sustainability in the US strategy in the long run.

Its not like it has not happened before. US lost its basing at subic bay after marcos (dad of current guy) departure and original acquino coming to power...and the PH then demanding about 1 billion or so per year for continued US operations there (that the US didn't see as a fair price and simply pulled assets to yokosuka/okinawa etc).

This was all the 80s/90s cold war end to post cold war era.

The plan was to turn subic bay into a large combined SEZ/trading harbour but PH economic problems hit in the 1990s in bad way and it never really got going.

But there is immense US soft power capture within the PH and thus its politics too. Duterte tried to buck the trend a bit on this, but really that was an aberration and he also had to balance the US as well regardless.

Now with the situation changed drastically from what the 80s situation was with PRC (for PH), there is no real institutional possibility a full anti-US or pro-PRC president comes to power for any forseeable future.

Things are baked in now....and there will be a massive weaponised arc that takes place in this island chain from japan to taiwan to PH and to Vietnam. India will be highly and increasingly involved in supporting this.
 

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Indian shipyards are already in a frenzy to sign MSRA agreements with US navy.

Makes sense from a US perspective.

The facilities in SCS/Singapore are simply too close to the action and liable to be attacked/degraded in the event of a kinetic war between US & China.

Having repair & logistics facilities in India can be a nice insurance as attacking them would mean drawing India into the war (which would open up a whole other front) and require the Chinese to split their resources to fight both at the same time.

Plus, geographically India is in the perfect position to repair/replenish any CENTCOM forces on their way to pivot to the INDOPACOM in the event of a major conflict.
 

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Makes sense from a US perspective.

The facilities in SCS/Singapore are simply too close to the action and liable to be attacked/degraded in the event of a kinetic war between US & China.

Having repair & logistics facilities in India can be a nice insurance as attacking them would mean drawing India into the war (which would open up a whole other front) and require the Chinese to split their resources to fight both at the same time.

Plus, geographically India is in the perfect position to repair/replenish any CENTCOM forces on their way to pivot to the INDOPACOM in the event of a major conflict.

I wonder what Chinese strategic thought process behind picking fight with both USA+its allies and India at once. Are they that confident? Wouldn't it make much more sense to permanently resolve the border dispute with India and soley focus on Western front. There can be legitimate case be made about Taiwan being part of PRC. And this island is a massive prize in everyway. Why jeopardize that by picking a fight with India over some barren lands and mountains? If India didn't feel threatened, it wouldn't have made sense for it to actively side with USA against PRC over Taiwan/SCS and play a supportive military role like the one we are discussing now. Chances are, India would have remained passive, except in the field of diplomacy of course. @Nilgiri
 

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I wonder what Chinese strategic thought process behind picking fight with both USA+its allies and India at once. Are they that confident? Wouldn't it make much more sense to permanently resolve the border dispute with India and soley focus on Western front. There can be legitimate case be made about Taiwan being part of PRC. And this island is a massive prize in everyway. Why jeopardize that by picking a fight with India over some barren lands and mountains? If India didn't feel threatened, it wouldn't have made sense for it to actively side with USA against PRC over Taiwan/SCS and play a supportive military role like the one we are discussing now. Chances are, India would have remained passive, except in the field of diplomacy of course. @Nilgiri

I think at the core of is the Chinese belief that they hold the key of initiating any hostilities, that therefore they can choose the time & place as well as who to fight.

Right now, they're not wrong about that, thanks to the fact that the SCS region remain incredibly important to the global high-end supply chains (which are really difficult & expensive to rebuild/relocate). So it's not in the West's interests to make active trouble there right now.

But that will change sometime this decade. Once the onshoring of high-end semiconductor fabs to the US, Europe & Japan (which is happening as we speak) is complete, the US will be free to start playing the kind of games in SCS that were being played in Ukraine before 2014. The PRC would be wise to not underestimate the US' ability to bait & force the hand of its enemies at that point.

If China really does get bogged down in a war in the SCS/Pacific, I'd think India wouldn't get involved until & unless some very favorable deals regarding both the present (technology transfers, monetary benefits etc) & future (post-war order) have been struck with the US.

All that said, it's really not very smart for the Chinese to pursue hostilities with everyone at the same time. Hitler made the same mistake and we all know how that turned out.
 

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I think at the core of is the Chinese belief that they hold the key of initiating any hostilities, that therefore they can choose the time & place as well as who to fight.

Right now, they're not wrong about that, thanks to the fact that the SCS region remain incredibly important to the global high-end supply chains (which are really difficult & expensive to rebuild/relocate). So it's not in the West's interests to make active trouble there right now.

But that will change sometime this decade. Once the onshoring of high-end semiconductor fabs to the US, Europe & Japan (which is happening as we speak) is complete, the US will be free to start playing the kind of games in SCS that were being played in Ukraine before 2014. The PRC would be wise to not underestimate the US' ability to bait & force the hand of its enemies at that point.

If China really does get bogged down in a war in the SCS/Pacific, I'd think India wouldn't get involved until & unless some very favorable deals regarding both the present (technology transfers, monetary benefits etc) & future (post-war order) have been struck with the US.

All that said, it's really not very smart for the Chinese to pursue hostilities with everyone at the same time. Hitler made the same mistake and we all know how that turned out.

When it comes to Taiwan/SCS, I actually think time only favor PRC. The later it is the better. Despite its problems China is growing into the world largest economy and PLA is modernizing exponentially. I mean PLA of 2010 and PLA of 2024 is very much different across all domains. Sure, United States will remain United State for a long time. But the fact is, it is stretched globally. And If we give PRC another decade, I won't be very sure of US regional overmatch by mid 2030s.
 

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