Beijing and Islamabad begin their largest-ever naval exercises. High-resolution imagery from satellites indicates that several front-line Chinese warships, a submarine, and fleet endorse ships are docked at Karachi harbor.
China’s water-based presence in the Indian Ocean has increased significantly during the period of the Sea Guardians-3 exercises. This includes building an important base in the Horn of Africa—Djibouti—and selling a number of cutting-edge platforms to local navies, especially the Pakistan Navy, which bought four Type-054 A/P frigates recently.
The Chinese scientific vessel Shi Yan 6 arrived in Colombo a few days ago, but not before making its way northward into Bay Bengal, which is situated between the coast of Tamil Nadu and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. With the goal of facilitating broad submarine activities throughout the area, it is generally accepted that China has been extensively mapping the waters of the Indian Ocean, particularly the Bay of Bengal.
Since 2013, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is thought to have stationed a submarine in the Indian Ocean a total of eight times.
It is also known that China has swiftly targeted submarines in the Indian Ocean that are powered by nuclear energy. These do not need to come to the top other than to restock supplies, so they could conceptually stay under water forever. It is unclear if the Chinese fleet taking part in the exercises also has a nuclear submarine set up.
Navy P8 reconnaissance aircraft routinely tracked the Type-039 submarine and its accompanying support ship after they entered the region through the Malacca straits, claiming sources were keeping an eye on the deployment of Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean for Sea Guardian activities.
According to some sources, this is the beginning of a potential increase in Chinese influence in the area down the road. Its present port infrastructure, which includes its initial overseas base in Djibouti, renders it easy to dock an aircraft carrier and its battle group.
In an alleged $5 billion deal, the Pakistani government decided to invest in eight Type 039 submarine versions in April 2015. A Chinese Type 926 submarine tender is berthed in Karachi. The Type 926 is a restocking ship and an underwater rescue ship that is one of three ships of the type that are apparently in Chinese Navy service.
The Indian Navy is constantly working to track down Chinese naval assets. Chinese ships navigate westward to reach the Indian Ocean via the Sunda, Lombok, and Malacca Straits, three crucial choke points. The Indian Navy’s P-8 maritime reconnaissance aircraft and warships with mission-deployed functions are regularly programmed to intercept Chinese vessels and observe their movements for extended periods of time.
Despite India’s safety worries, a Chinese research ship, the Yuan Wang 5, anchored at Hambantota last year. Based on reports, the ship was sent to observe Indian rocket launches from Abdul Kalam Island, which is situated off the coast of Odisha.