Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar on Monday said the Indo-Pacific region is witnessing a “marathon” US-China rivalry which has led to a naval arms race in the region under which Beijing has added 148 warships in the last decade — almost equal to the strength of entire Indian maritime force.
Delivering a lecture at the Vivekanand International Foundation, the Navy chief said, “The US-China rivalry is here to stay and it is not a short spin but it will be a long marathon they are engaged in. It has led inevitably to a naval arms race between the West and China similar to the World War One era between the allied and the central powers”.
“For instance, China has inducted 148 warships in the last 10 years which I would say is perhaps the entire Indian navy size and the process still continues,” he said.
The Navy chief pointed out that the rivalry has led to jostling for space in the region, where many external powers want to come in.
He also highlighted the significant achievement made by the country in the construction of the ‘Made in India’ INS Vikrant aircraft carrier, saying it had a very high percentage of indigenous equipment including steel which the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and local steel companies have developed.
He also pointed out that out of the 43 warships and submarines being constructed by the Navy, 41 are being made in India only.