Rust Bucket Chinese Navy Unable To Sustain IOR Deployments

Rust Bucket Chinese Navy Unable To Sustain IOR Deployments


Rust Bucket Chinese Navy Unable To Sustain IOR Deployments

The Chinese Navy has been deploying a few of its warships to the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea for patrolling in the Gulf of Aden in the name of anti-piracy patrols. However many commentators have questioned their deployment against pirates who use very basic boats and equipment for hijacking merchant ships.

Before the last deployment in 2017, every three months the Chinese would alternatively send their conventional and nuclear submarines to the Indian Ocean Region and they would either go to Djibouti or Pakistan Navy base in Karachi.

The Chinese had started sending their submarines to the Indian Ocean Region since December 2013 which would cross all over from their eastern seaboard through southeast Asia before crossing the Malacca Straits and enter the Indian Ocean. They have had problems with the maintenance of their vessels in the past also and it seems that this is also impacting their long-range deployment strategy.

The last time a Chinese nuclear submarine came close to the Indian waters was in August 2018, but it returned to its territory from the Sunda Straits. The submarine rescue vessel accompanying it did come to Colombo but returned from there.

Since September 2017, no Chinese nuclear or conventional submarine has entered the Indian Ocean Region, raising a question mark on the ability of the People’s Liberation Army’s Navy to deploy its underwater warships far away from its mainland.

India has been keeping its areas of interest under surveillance and have been detecting and tracking Chinese underwater fleet including its nuclear boats. Whenever a Chinese sub has surfaced, they have found an Indian Naval vessel greeting them.

China has been in an expansion mode for its Navy in the last many years as it wants to develop long legs in the sea for protecting its sea trade and also project power through its flotilla. However it seems that they have a long way to go before they become a Blue Water Navy.