As China continues to deploy new missile systems that can target any part of the United States with nuclear weapons, and submarines that can target any part of the trade routes from China, through the South China Sea, and into the Indian Ocean, India is preparing to defend its Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
India has detected Chinese naval ships coming close to the territorial waters of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Chinese ships attempt to get close at least twice every three months. India is concerned that the islands are mostly undefended, and a lightning attack by the Chinese would be successful.
In response, India is deploying eight P-8I aircraft, obtained from Boeing under a 2009 deal with the United States. The aircraft will be stationed at the southern tip of mainland India in Tamil Nadu. They will serve as reconnaissance aircraft, and also will be equipped with missiles capable of neutralizing enemy submarines and warships.
India is building a satellite tracking and imaging center in southern Vietnam. Although it’s billed as a civilian facility for agricultural, scientific and environmental applications, the improved imaging technology means the pictures could also be used for military purposes for both countries.