A high-level delegation with senior officers from the Indian navy and the Ministry of Defence are expected to head to Chile to participate in Expo-Naval scheduled to take place from November 29- December 3, 2022.
All the countries from the region as well from across the globe will be present at this expo and the Indian delegates will get to meet with the top leadership of the armed forces not only from the region but other countries too.
This is one area where India and Chile can work together though the South American nation is not looking for any big ships. What is looking for is smaller fast patrol boats which are used for coastal security. And India can also extend help in the modernisation of the navy of that country.
“And an invitation is also for the Chief of the Naval Staff to visit the expo. Since the expo coincides with the Indian Navy Day, most likely top officials could be sent to the expo,” said a senior officer.
Also, as with Brazil, India could also offer its expertise for the maintenance of the `Scorpene’ class submarines being operated by the Chilean Navy since 2005.
Will the Indian shipyards work jointly with Chile?
Only time will tell. Chile’s ASMAR shipyard is considered to be one of the best in the region. And there are others like COTECMAR of Colombia and SIMA of Peru.
One officer suggested that an Indian ship should visit a Chilean Port during the Expo-Naval and showcase the Indian expertise in building warships as well as the in-house design expertise of the Indian Navy.
Impact of INS Tarkash to Brazil
Speaking to Financial Express Online on condition of anonymity, a top diplomat said, “The visit of INS Tarkash visiting a port in South American nation Brazil is not going to in any way give a push to India’s efforts towards defence exports in the region.”
Showcasing Indian tech prowess critical
“The INS Tarkash that went to Brazil is not an indigenous Indian ship. It’s a Russian-built warship. The big navies in the region are more keen to go onboard an Indian ship which has been designed by the Naval Directorate of Design at the Naval Headquarters and built at an Indian shipyard with indigenous content,” the diplomat quoted above said.
He added that, “To be a seller’s market, India needs to send a warship to the South American continent showcasing Indian technology, shipbuilding expertise will be attractive. The region is interested to work with India in various areas of defence. Training, capacity building, best practices, exercises, exchange programmes. ”