Vikrant is the first step towards India becoming an Indo-Pacific power
India has now acquired indigenous capability and capacity to build aircraft carriers, diesel- and nuclear-powered submarines and light combat aircraft. This capability and capacity cannot be left idle for lack of orders or sacrificed to exceptionally long manhours taken by defence public sector undertakings to build these hardware platforms.
First step in this direction is to integrate the Indian military under one maritime theatre command under a Navy Admiral with dedicated support element from the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.
Synergy amongst the fighting forces must be seen on ground and not on paper at the Integrated Defence Staff Headquarters. India cannot afford to have its armed forces operating in silos and out to protect their own fiefdoms and past imperial legacy. After the new Naval ensign was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian military must dump its British military past, Raj traditions, ceremonies and create its own identity.
India’s first Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat believed that India would become a true Indo-Pacific power by developing maritime security infrastructure in Andamans and Nicobar Islands. His national security plans included development of a container cum replenishment facility at Campbell Bay in Great Nicobar so that mercantile shipping and warships of friendly nations would get sustenance at India’s island territories while proceeding towards Malacca Straits rather than wait for their turn at Sri Lankan ports.