Issue: 1-2020 By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

The lead article is by an eminent Geopolitics and Security analyst who traces the evolution of the Indian Navy to its ‘Blue Water Avatar’ and what challenges are likely to be faced in the future. The Indian Navy is the principal manifestation of India’s maritime power and aims to govern two oceans, the Indian Ocean as well the Pacific. Thus, the Indian Navy stands as a strong pillar in guarding our national interest at home and abroad. The author makes a strong case for the timely expansion of the Indian Navy. Currently the Navy has a presence in the IOR in 19 locations but this has to be augmented with a stronger presence as India’s role in the region is globally recognised and is seen as a protector of the regional order particularly as it pertains to maintaining open sea lanes and the freedom of navigation and picking up the baton of becoming a ‘Net Security Provider’.

India has entered the 21st century with a small but formidable regional naval posture. An article is thus included which gives an overview of the modernisation plans for upgrading Indian Navy’s presence in the IOR and the Pacific. The Navy aims to have a force level of 200 ships, 500 aircraft and 24 attack submarines. At present, the Navy has around 132 ships, 220 aircraft and 15 submarines. In the article on modenisation, IN has the vision of transforming from a buyer’s navy to a builder’s navy.

With the centre of gravity of conflict veering towards the IOR, the requirement of maritime surveillance of the Indian Navy is in focus. China’s moves to establish bases in the IOR, its nexus with Pakistan including PLA troops and marines based in Pakistan indicates China’s aggressive intentions. Thus an article on maritime surveillance is included which gives out current capabilities and future requirements.

The year started with a bang for acquisition when the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved a three-way competition among the private sector L&T and the public sector Mazagon Dock Limited and Hindustan Shipyard for the $6.3 billion Indian Navy programme to build six new diesel-electric submarines under Project 75 (India). This is a landmark project aimed at building up indigenous submarine design capability for future programmes. Read all about it in an ‘in-depth’ analysis of the programme.

SP Guide Publications is proud to share that 7 articles by our journalists, in four categories, have been shortlisted for finals in the upcoming Aerospace Media Awards - Asia. These are the most prestigious awards in Aerospace Media and the number of nominations for finals received by us are amongst the highest by a publishing company, which includes global leaders and heavyweights. Details of the nominations can be seen on pages 6 and 7 inside.

As usual this issue ends with the News Digest and Flag Postings. DefExpo 2020 is being held at Lucknow from February 5-8 and as usual SP Guide Publications will have presence. Do meet us at Hall 3 Stall Q47 in case you are there.

We wish you discerning readers happy reading and a very Happy 2020.