An Indian Navy P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft on Monday, September 16, located a Chinese nuclear warships 'Xian' that was operating close to the Indian waters. The successful tracking down of the Chinese warship comes amid an increase in Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean, which has raised concerns in the government and the security establishment.
News agency ANI has accessed a picture of the Chinese amphibious warship -- Xian-32 in southern Indian Ocean region. "They are being constantly monitored during their presence in the Indian Ocean when they pass closer to Indian exclusive economic zone and territorial waters," a source said.
While patrolling over the Indian Ocean, P-8I aircraft took the pictures in the first half of September before it entered Sri Lankan waters.
According to sources, the P-8I anti-submarine warfare spy plane had tracked down another Chinese frigate that is part of its anti-piracy escort task force deployed in the Gulf of Aden to provide security to Chinese merchant vessels from Somali sea pirates.
The maritime movements in the Indian Ocean region are tracked at the Navy's Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) located in Gurugram.
Currently, seven Chinese Navy warships are operating in and around the Indian Ocean Region, including an over 27,000 tonnes amphibious vessel.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy is presently operating one carrier in the form of the INS Vikramaditya. However, the second one called the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is under construction at the Cochin Shipyard Limited. Now, the Navy wants to build the third aircraft carrier, which is said to be above 60,000 tonnes and will have the capability to be deployed for longer periods.