The Indian Navy is concerned about the Chinese navy's 'close interaction' with a few neighbouring countries and is 'closely monitoring' Chinese activity in Pakistan's western Makran coast, chief of naval staff Admiral Madhavendra Singh has said.
Beijing is also reportedly helping Myanmar modernise naval bases that could support Chinese submarine operations, while the development of Gwadar port in Pakistan could seriously endanger vital Indian shipping routes, Admiral Singh said in an interview to the Janes Defence weekly.
China allocates around 33 per cent of its defence outlay to navy.
According to the weekly, Admiral Singh did not confirm the India's plans of developing the sea leg of its nuclear triad.
He, however, said, "It makes a lot of sense to keep nuclear assets at sea and the government has said it will do so.
"It makes sense for India, which has a no-first-use policy of employing nuclear weapons, to have a deterrent that is absolutely survivable. Nuclear assets under water are difficult to target."
Indian wanted to make its navy the 'best, largest and operationally most efficient force in the Indian Ocean region by 2015', the admiral said.
He said, "India is the largest state and the biggest economy in the Indian Ocean region with vast maritime interests, and therefore the Indian Navy must complement that status.
"We have informed the government that we need three aircraft carriers, so that at least two are operational at any given time."
To achieve this, it is important for India to acquire Admiral Gorshkov, the 44,500 tonne Kiev-class aircraft carrier on offer from Russia for the price of its refit, as the navy's sole carrier, INS Viraat, is to retire around 2008-10, he said.
By then the indigenously designed 37,5000-tonne air-defence ship will be built, he added.