Emerging Paradigm of the Indian Ocean: Arihant’s Prowl and its Regional Implications



The Indian Ocean has traditionally been less contentious with respect to nuclear issues but recent fielding of the nuclear submarine by India has introduced a new dimension in the strategic stability of the region. Though the development of nuclear submarine is China-centric, yet, the littoral states of the Indian Ocean have started feeling perturbed. The Indian ambitious naval expansion plan, aligned with its evolving maritime strategy, has adversely affected the security dynamics of the Indian Ocean. Thus, the Indian Ocean has become an avenue of the intersecting interests of many regional (China and India) and extra-regional states. The predominant interest of extra-regional powers has been economic, embedded in the security concerns. In response to the Indian nuclear explosions in 1998, Pakistan compelled to became an overt nuclear state, yet, had no inclinations for taking nuclearisation to sea. However, the extraordinary development of induction of nuclear submarine in the Indian naval inventory has forced many regional states to premeditate their options in line with their security calculus and compulsions, which has resulted in the emergence of a new paradigm of strategic competition between India and China in the Indian Ocean.

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