|Prei Dy |||Apr 28, 2017 05:33 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) India is more threatened with China's expanding naval footprints in the Indian Ocean that Beijing's new aircraft carrier.
India is not disconcerted on the recent launch of China's first indigenous aircraft carrier, saying it will take Beijing at least five years to make the warship capable of being deployed as an offensive weapon. What alarms New Delhi most is the rapid expansion of China's long-range naval deployments by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
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"The launch of the half-finished carrier does not amount to much in real terms. But India can ill-afford to ignore China's continuing quest to go global in the maritime domain, which has been its major focus area since 2009," a senior officer said, stressing that China already has both the Gwadar Port and Djibouti.
Since December 2013, China's nuclear and conventional submarines conduct regular forays across the Indian Ocean Region on the pre-text of anti-piracy patrols, The Economic Times reported. China has also "strategically encircled" India by boosting its maritime connections including Bangladesh, Cambodia, eastern Africa, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, to name a few.
Although China still needs some years to gain expertise in operating fighters from carriers, India has operated "flattops" since it inducted its first carrier in the more than 50 years ago. However, India is also apparently slowly fiddling away its edge, struggling on pursuing its long-standing plan to have three aircrafts.
China recently unleased its first homegrown aircraft carrier Type 001A, or likely to be named Shangdong, on April 26 at the Dalian Shipyard in Liaoning Province. The country's aircraft carriers represent its modernization and upcoming superpower status, Popular Science noted.
Moreover, state media has quoted naval officers saying that China will plans to build five more aircraft carrier. Currently, the Type 002 carrier is undergoing modular assembly, while the Type 003 will follow in the late 2020s.
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