This new Chinese aircraft carrier, the Type 003, poses a danger to the Indo-Pacific region.
China is set to announce the world's biggest non-American aircraft carrier by the verge of 2021, Indian national security organisers are concerned about the security of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), as Beijing, as it has in the middle ages in the South China Sea, practises economic warfare with little regard for international law.
According to Western intelligence estimates, the 3rd aircraft carrier following Liaoning and Shandong would be accompanied by two additional Chinese carrier battle groups (CBGs) by the end of the decade.
“The question is not how the Chinese acquired the technology but how it will impact India and the IOR. The US narrative that CBGs can be targeted by long-distance ballistic missiles comes from a position of strength, where the US Navy has no less than 11 supercarriers at its disposal,” said a former Indian Navy admiral.
Though international defence analysts have attempted to downplay the PLA Navy's carrier construction programme by emphasising China's shady access to resources, the Indian Navy is well aware that the aircraft carrier will wreak havoc in the Indo-Pacific region.
“In the Indian context, the Chinese carrier is a potent weapon and has to be treated as such. The security of IOR will be affected if two Chinese carriers come into the area. We must remember that the Chinese are using the US playbook in almost all their force application paradigms … like the US carrier in Taiwan straits… which prevents that Chinese carrier in future from carrying out freedom of navigation operations in Andaman Seas!, ” said a naval operations expert.
As India has constructed the Agni-Prime optimal ballistic missile with the wartime goal of hitting CBGs, the PLA will be more than a challenge for the INS Vikramaditya (now under maintenance) and INS Vikrant, which will be operational by August 2022.
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