What is blue water force and does India have the capability to become a blue water force ? Comment.

Published: December 7, 2019

Navies are classified on the basis of colours. A navy whose operations are close to the shore, where the water muddy, is known as Brown Water Force. A navy which can go farther is called a Green Water Force and then there is Blue Water Force. A Blue Water Force is a maritime force that has the capacity to go vast and deep into the ocean and capable of sustained operation across the world’s oceans. 

The United States of America has a blue water force, the United States Navy is the number one on “global-reach power projection navy”, and the number one among all Bluewater navies including India. It’s Navy is capable to carry out operations far from its borders without the requirement to refuel or re-stock from its home port. It has demonstrated this capability numerous times since the second world war. 

As of today, there is no internationally agreed definition for the term, owning one or more operational aircraft carriers is seen as a requirement for a country’s navy to achieve this status. 

In a recent tweet, the Defence’s minister office also spoke about the Indian Navy being a Formidable Blue Water Force. The Indian Maritime Doctrine, 2015 states that the ability to undertake distant operations distinguishes a blue water navy from a brown-water and green-water force. 

The Indian Navy is unique among the various other Asian navies, especially Japan and China, in that it has long experience in aircraft carrier power projection, India has demonstrated this capability during the 1971 and 1999 wars with Pakistan. Right now India only operates a single Aircraft carrier, Russian made INS Vikramaditya, but another Aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, is under construction and is to be commissioned in October 2020. 

With vast a carrier experience, a force of Nuclear submarines, both homegrown and foreign, friendly relations with other major Bluewater navies, strong integral capacity, logistics, surveillance and network operations to carry distant operations, the Indian Navy qualifies as the only Asian Blue Water Force. 

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