Southeast Asian analysts have observed that there has been very clear evidence of a military build-up in the region. All countries in the region have engaged in force modernization programs to varying degrees, although this does not equate with military effectiveness. While the Revolution in Military Affairs has had varying effects on the region’s military capabilities, it is important to note that much more than the mere acquisition of modern weapons systems is required for a true Revolution in Military Affairs to take place.
After Vietnam, Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia, India is now also steadily stepping up military ties with Indonesia with an eye firmly on China. India and Indonesia have now decided to hold their first-ever joint air combat exercise as well as deepen maritime security cooperation.
Defence sourcesalso says that India has already offered to train sailors from Indonesia in the complex art of submarine operations during the recent visit of defence secretary G Mohan Kumar to the country.
Vietnamese sailors are already being trained in “comprehensive underwater combat operations” in the Indian Navy’s submarine school Satavahana in Visakhapatnam. A similar programme to train the Vietnamese fighter pilots on Indian Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets is set to begin this year, as was earlier reported by TOI.
India already trains Vietnamese sailors in operating Kilo class submarines and its pilots on Su-30 fighter aircraft, both Russian built platforms India operates in large numbers. This move also fits into India’s larger engagement with the region as part of its ‘Act East’ policy