Indian military bases/ presence abroad
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India is the world’s fourth largest spender on defence, following a 13.1 per cent increase in its 2016-17 defence budget, according to US research firm IHS Inc.
As per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2015, India overtook France in military spending and is fast approaching Britain, which is behind the US, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
India currently has multiple military bases spread across the Indian sub-continent and the Indian Ocean region. Every base supports either a specific security goal or the overall regional stability. Military bases are conceived for training purposes, preparation and stockage of military equipment. They are not very well known in view of the fact that they are not open to the public at large.
Kuldeep Singh Lamba adds: India Has Strong Military ties with countries like-
India is also looking forward to setup Military bases in other countries but below problems are there-
India is not in position to bear the operation cost of these Bases. That's why India is only having regular exercise and security Agreements only.
Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT)
The Indian Army maintains a training mission in Bhutan known as IMTRAT which is responsible for supplying of Arms and constructing strategic roads in Bhutan. (Indian Defence)
A listening post
Coastal Surveillance Radar (CSR) station
A listening post is a forward position set up to obtain early warning of enemy movement. (Aseem Gaurav Sharma | These 5 Overseas Military Bases Speaks Volumes About India’s Growing Military Footprint | 28 Nov, 2016 | Top Yaps)
A listening post of the Indian Navy started operations around 2007. The monitoring station provides India with Electronic Eyes and Ears in the south-western Indian Ocean. Located in Northern Madagascar, it is linked with similar facilities in Kochi & Mumbai. It is helpful for gathering intelligence on the operations of Foreign Navies in the region. (Indian Defence)
Maldives - Coastal Surveillance Radar (CSR) station
India has setup radars on all 26 atolls of Maldives and networked with Indian Coastal Radar System. Indian Coast Guard regularly conducts sorties and Patrols in Maldivian Waters to keep its security intact. (Indian Defence)
Helicopter based at Kadhdhoo Island
India has helped Maldives set up radars on all 26 atolls for seamless coverage of approaching vessels and aircraft. They are networked with Indian Coastal Radar System.
One Indian Navy Advanced Light Helicopter MK III has been deployed at Maldives. The helicopter will be based at Kadhdhoo Island in Laamu Atol of Maldives (Aseem Gaurav Sharma | These 5 Overseas Military Bases Speaks Volumes About India’s Growing Military Footprint | 28 Nov, 2016 | Top Yaps)
Coastal Surveillance Radar (CSR) station
An Indian proposal to have an airbase in Mongolia to increase its strategic outreach in the Central Asian region appears to have been shelved, an official said, amid concerns that it could exacerbate tensions with China.
Mooted in 2004 during the visit of then Mongolian prime minister N. Enkhbayar in January 2004, the idea elicited a positive response in Mongolia, a country with which India has been rapidly developing ties in the space and defence fields.
Besides providing enhanced reach to the IAF, the Mongolian base was seen as giving India strategic leverage vis-a-vis China. Resource-rich Central Asia is also important for India to secure its energy supplies.
With China-Mongolian relations de-emphasising Mongolian nationalism and focusing more on regional security cooperation, the Central Asian country is keen to strengthen its ties with other countries as well.
In 2001, India and Mongolia signed an agreement on Defence Cooperation, which included joint exercises and reciprocal visits by military officers, followed by the constitution of Joint Defence Working Group.
In January 2004, a cooperation protocol was signed between its Department of Space and the Mongolian Ministry of Infrastructure. It also covers studies related to satellite communication, satellite-related remote sensing and satellite meteorology. Also included in the protocol are satellite ground stations and satellite mission management, training facilities and exchange of scientists.
India and Mongolia share good relations, which have been deepened by the Buddhist link. India was the first non-Communist country to recognise Mongolia, which opened its embassy here in 1956. Indias diplomatic mission there opened 15 years later in 1971.
The Indian navy took charge of Mozambique's Sea Security during the African Union Summit of 2003. It regularly patrols the waters around Mozambique to keep piracy in check. (Indian Defence)
India has long stated that any attack on Nepal will be considered as an attack on India and has committed itself to the defense of this landlocked Nation. It was reported in 2000 that India is going to construct an Air Base in Surkhet for IAF's operation. India is also the largest arms supplier to Nepal. (Indian Defence)
An air base in Surkhet
It was reported that India was going to construct an air base in Surkhet for IAF’s operation. Military experts say an air-strip in Surkhet of Nepal will serve the Indian security interests in a much more enhanced manner. (Aseem Gaurav Sharma | These 5 Overseas Military Bases Speaks Volumes About India’s Growing Military Footprint | 28 Nov, 2016 | Top Yaps)
India has setup a naval air base in Muscat, Oman. The Navy also maintains berthing rights in the port of Oman. (Indian Defence)
Under the historic Defence Co-operation Pact of 2008, India has committed its military assets to protect Qatar from external threats. Officials said about this pact as "Just short of stationing Troops on Ground". (Indian Defence)
Assumption Island Naval Base
Seychelles [sought] Indian Navy's help for anti-piracy operations in its waters and the Indian Navy proudly patrols its Exclusive Economic Zone. (Indian Defence)
Ayni/ Gissar Air Base
Ayni Air Force Base, also known as Gissar Air Base, is a military air base in Tajikistan ( Not controlled by IAF ), just 10 km west of the capital Dushanbe, which served as a major military base of the Soviet Union in the Cold War era.
India spent nearly US$70 million to renovate the air base. (Kuldeep Singh Lamba)
Moscow has been unrelenting in its stand that it doesn’t want foreign powers to deploy fighter aircraft in its backyard and a former territory.
Ayni is the much-spoken word in Indo-Russian strategic engagement. The Ayni air base in Tajikistan happens to be India’s first and only foreign military base. And yet, this base is not fully operational for the simple reason that an air base cannot be operational without deployment of fighter aircraft, something that is unlikely to happen without Russia’s green signal. India’s Ayni dream is Russia-locked.
India has spent $70 million between 2002 and 2010 to renovate the Ayni base. India has extended the Ayni runway to 3,200 metres and installed state-of-the-art navigational and air defence equipment there.
Ayni Air Force Base, also known as Gissar Air Base, is a military air base in Tajikistan, just 10 km west of the capital Dushanbe. India waded in the Tajikistan strategic matrix after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, though it took India a good one decade to do so.
But that happened when Russia was weak – militarily, politically and economically. This scenario is no longer applicable with the now resurgent Russia.
India is very serious on the Ayni air base project to gain a strategic foothold in Central Asia and improve its C3I (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence) network to fortify its operations in Afghanistan and keep a close eye on Pakistan
The Russian “Net” has prevailed that was reflected in an on-record statement by Tajik foreign minister Hamrohan Zarifi in January 2011 who ruled out deployment of Indian or American forces at Ayni. Zarifi’s statement coincided with Tajikistan officially launching negotiations with Russia to discuss possible deployment of Russian military at Ayni.
It is in this context that the September 3-4, 2012 India visit by Tajik president Rahmon should be viewed. During this visit, Rahmon, equally concerned with the possible shape of things to emerge in the post 2014 Afghanistan, discussed with his Indian interlocutors the various possibilities of jointly fighting the Taliban menace. Tajikistan looks upon Taliban as a threat to its own interests as well as its secular fabric.
In 2006, India was poised to announce that the Ayni base had become operational, but it was not to be. The base is still dormant without any fighter jets.
Tajikistan is just 16 kilometres from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
Farkhor Air Base
India’s first external military base (outside its territory)
Farkhor Air Base is a military air base located near the town of Farkhor in Tajikistan, 130 kilometres south east of the capital Dushanbe. It is operated by the Indian Air Force in collaboration with the Tajikistan Air Force.
As a result of Pakistan banning Indian overflights, India started operating the Farkhor base in May 2002, with Russian acquiescence, to support Indian relief and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. The Farkhor Air Base would give the Indian military the required depth and range in seeking a larger role in the Indian Subcontinent and is a tangible manifestation of India’s move to project its power in Central Asia, a policy goal formally enunciated in 2003–2004.
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had raised concerns to the Tajik government of the fact that Indian planes if stationed they would be able reach Pakistan within minutes using the air base. (Aseem Gaurav Sharma | These 5 Overseas Military Bases Speaks Volumes About India’s Growing Military Footprint | 28 Nov, 2016 | Top Yaps)
Berthing rights, not bases
India is setting up a Satellite Tracking and Imaging Centre in southern Vietnam that will give Hanoi access to pictures from Indian Earth Observation Satellites that cover the region, including China and the South China Sea. (Indian Defence)
To keep an eye on Chinese movements in the South China sea, India has berthing rights in Vietnam and regularly gives Port Calls. This would not only help give India a presence in the region, it also serves as a quid pro quo for the increasingly frequent Chinese forays into the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR).
Due to Vietnam’s difficult history with China, New Delhi is actively courting Vietnam with defense-related offers and infrastructure deals. Vietnam is often seen as a linchpin in India’s counter-encirclement and “Look East” policies. (Aseem Gaurav Sharma | These 5 Overseas Military Bases Speaks Volumes About India’s Growing Military Footprint | 28 Nov, 2016 | Top Yaps)