In the 70 years since independence, India has emerged as a major maritime nation, with a naval power that is the world's fourth largest in size, but scores better than those on capabilities. India has fought four major wars with its traditional rivals China and Pakistan, of which at least two had major naval power on display.
India's maritime history and legacy is not what will define its navy's future, but the present and clear dangers lurking in its backyard will. India has always held that its main area of interest and responsibility lies in the Indian Ocean region stretching from the East coast of African continent on its western seaboard to the Malacca Straits on the eastern seaboard.
Indian Navy's former Chief Admiral R K Dhowan had during his tenure expanded this truism a little further to state that Indian Navy's responsibility and area of interest would be to go and effectively operate across the oceans and seas, wherever India's economic and strategic interest lay. This is to euphemistically state that Indian Navy would demonstrate force and power in waters such as the South China Sea, where India has economic interest in oil and gas exploration.
That strategic shift in Indian Navy's stated operational objectives is definitely going to give headaches to China that has claimed almost the entire South China Sea as its maritime territory and thus led to conflict situations. This has been clearly indicated by Ch