New Delhi: The PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy), one of the large naval forces in the world has deployed some of its ships of the Yuan Wang Series/Category into the Indian Seas claiming that these ships are present for the purpose of conducting research. However, a detailed analysis conducted later revealed that the Ships are there to conduct espionage and patrol Indian Waters under the pretext of research.
The capabilities of the ships have been revealed. They are capable of listening, detecting and observing signals and communication which is completely absent for a typical research vessel. China and allied agencies still claim the presence of these ships for the so-called purpose of research. In reality, they are fitted with the C and S bands of monopulse tracking radar which help in finding direction and location.
The Yuan Ships are capable of tracking long-range ballistic missile trajectories and satellite launches. The movement of Yuan Wang-6 came barely 20 days after India conducted the test firing of a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) from INS Arihant, its first indigenous nuclear submarine. The projectile hit the target area in the Bay of Bengal with high accuracy.
According to Submariner and Indian Naval Officer Commodore Anil Jai Singh, nothing much can be done as long as these ships do not provoke or instigate any hostile offensive towards the Indian Navy. Moreover, as these ships are not warships, they too have a right to operate in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India as per the guidelines in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS). According to him, the presence of Chinese vessels in The Indian Ocean is now a regular feature.
However, the Indian Navy has made it very clear that it would not allow Yuan Wang Ships to enter the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) which extends 200 nautical miles from the coastline.
According to Indian Military planners, the PRC has a long-term strategy to deal with and operate in the Indian Ocean Region. It has established a submarine base in Bangladesh. It sent an old submarine to Myanmar and provided Pakistan (Indian Arch Enemy) with eight modern and advanced submarines. All of this is a part of the String of Pearls Strategy implanted by China.
The presence of the PLA Navy in the waters of the Indian Ocean/ Bay of Bengal/ Arabian Sea is a matter of concern for Indian strategists and experts. The P-8 Orion Maritime Surveillance Aircraft has detected more than seven Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean.
In August, a ship called Yuan Wang-5 was docked at the Sri Lankan Port of Hambantota despite concerns raised by New Delhi.