Vol. 2 No. 1 (2014): CISS Insight Quarterly News & Views, March 2014

India’s Naval Development and Interests of other Powers in the Indian Ocean Region

Mr. Khusrow Akkas Abbasi
Research Assistant at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
CISS Insight Journal 2014
Published March 20, 2014
How to Cite
Mr. Khusrow Akkas Abbasi. (2014). India’s Naval Development and Interests of other Powers in the Indian Ocean Region. CISS Insight Journal, 2(1), P25-38. Retrieved from https://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/188


In words of Alfred Mahan “whoever controls the Indian Ocean will dominate Asia, the destiny of world will be decided on its waters”. 1 What Mahan stated in 1890 is proving true now. Indian Ocean has emerged as the central arena of competition in international politics in the last three decades. Strategic location of the region in terms of power, and importance of its Sea Lanes of Communication make it a place of increasingly greater interests for the regional and extra regional powers.2 The geostrategic competition, in the recent years, in the region has driven its littoral states to increase their military power in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Given the strategic outlook of the region, India is the regional player which has made significant strides in the last decade or so and has invested heavily in building its naval force. With induction of the S-2 nuclear powered submarine, INS Arihant, and aircraft carriers in its fleet, India is well on its way to transform its navy from a brown water navy also to a blue water navy. These acquisitions provide it the power to play a more active role in the region. The rapid development of the Indian navy allows it to balance its power with contending regional players, especially China which is also enhancing its naval capability. In order to become a major naval force in the region, with its ‘String of Pearls’ policy, China is making inroads in the region predominantly for economic interests.