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Jumat, 26 Agustus 2011

Hunt For Sea Minerals Drives Indian Navy

Hunt For Sea Minerals Drives

DTN News: Hunt For Sea Minerals Drives Indian Navy

(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - September 16, 2009: India's ambitious plans to modernise its navy are being driven by a scramble for mineral wealth on the floor of the sea leagues away from the mainland, according to the country's military strategists. The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. It currently has approximately 55,000 personnel on active duty, including 5,000 members of the naval aviation branch and 2,000 marine commandos, making it the world's fifth largest navy. The Indian Navy currently operates more than 155 vessels, including the aircraft carrier INS Viraat, along with operational jet fighters.

Though the primary objective of the navy is to secure national maritime borders, India also uses its navy to enhance its international relations through joint exercises, port visits and humanitarian missions, including disaster relief. In recent years, the Indian Navy has undergone extensive modernization and expansion with an intention to increase its capabilities as a recognized blue-water navy.

India has one of the world's fastest-growing navies, with 120 vessels. It plans to add almost 100 warships to its fleet over the next decade. Strategists foresee Indian firepower protecting commercial drilling sites in the southern Indian Ocean.

Senior Indian officers, such as Admiral Sureesh Mehta, retired head of the navy, have spoken publicly about the inevitability of scouring the seabed for oil and gas and other minerals as land-based re-sources are depleted.

According to the Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography, India has surveyed an area of nearly 4m sq km in the central Indian Ocean basin that has led to findings of "significant commercial grades" of copper, nickel, iron and cobalt deposits.

The assessment of India's strategic needs comes as China likewise extends its naval might into the Indian Ocean. Beijing is seeking to protect the supply of oil to its fast-growing economy and shipments of minerals from its mines in Africa.

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