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Tech Savvy

The Indian Navy should choose from a wide array of options for advanced technologies now available in the market

Cmde Lalit Kapur (retd) Cmde Lalit Kapur (retd)

With DefExpo 2016, thoughts of regional military personnel and analysts inevitably turn towards new technology and equipment. The navy, particularly, is known for being technology intensive. The range of technologies it uses is vast, extending from bio-fuels, biotechnology and Nano-technology, to advanced weapons, sensors, communications, electronics, materials, networking, robotics, artificial intelligence and much more.

This article explores the technologies that the Indian Navy (IN) will need to consider and induct in the coming decades if it is to continue to fulfil the national aspiration of being a net security provider in the Indian Ocean, in an environment that stretches from peacetime operations and deterring both China and Pakistan, through low intensity operations to high intensity conflict, up to and including nuclear war.

India depends on the seas for production and transportation of energy vital for its economic development, seaborne trade and fish (India is the world’s third largest fish producing country, after China and Peru). This dependence will inevitably grow in the coming years. Protecting growing national needs, coupled with the ever present requirements of disaster management, humanitarian assistance and non-combat evacuation operations throughout the Indian Ocean and beyond, will determine the size and shape of the IN.

Technology constitutes a vast subject. Due to limitations of space, this article will restrict itself to platforms, sensors and weapons, focusing on the traditional navy, structured to deal with current and future conventional threats in its area of interest. The gamut of other requirements necessitated by low intensity conflict and maritime terrorism, which require a completely different type of technology, will be dealt with at some other time.

Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicles deliver materials and supplies to the citizens in the city of Meulaboh on the island of Sumatra after the Tsunami

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