Kolkata: The Chinese Navy has been found to have increased its presence in the Indian Ocean for snooping on India. The revelation comes close on the heels of reports of a PLA research vessel forced by the Indian Navy to return from the exclusive economic zone off Andaman & Nicobar Islands recently.
“The Chinese Navy is all over the Indian Ocean. Right now the Chinese Navy and Pakistan Navy are doing an exercise. It is the international water after 12 nautical miles. Everybody can come. You cannot stop it. But as long as we know they are present there, we track them,” naval officer in charge (West Bengal) Commodore Suprobho K. De said at INS Netaji Subhas on Tuesday on the eve of the Navy Day celebration.
“To enter the Indian Ocean, the ships have to pass through certain choke points like Strait of Malacca. As long as we can monitor those choke points, nobody can enter without being detected. Once you pick up, our aircraft can monitor the ship which moves slowly,” he added.
Cmde De pointed out, “Say if we find a ship somewhere, it will be found by the aircraft in the same area after 10 hours for its slow speed. That is how we keep track. We can ensure full surveillance of the Indian Ocean with the P8i aircraft, a force multiplier.”
He noted, “Snooping by the Chinese ships, including submarines’ movements in the Indian Ocean has increased. Their boats are focussed. In next two years, they will have one more carrier. By 2050, they will have 10 aircraft carriers.”
Cmde De also said that a plan has been made for showcasing a decommissioned Sea Harrier fighter aircraft at the proposed TU 142 museum on around two acres of land at New Town in Kolkata.