Highlights

In 2021, first Maritime Theatre Command of India will be launched. The Maritime Theatre Command will look after the 7516 kilometer long coastline, the entire Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the 1382 islands. This is important to counter Chinese ever-expanding naval foot-print in the IOR.  the People’s Republic of China has the largest Navy with 350 warships and submarines.

About Maritime Theatre Command (MTC)

  • Maritime Theatre Command will subsume the Western Naval Command (Mumbai), tri-service Andaman & Nicobar Command (Port Blair), Eastern Naval Command (Visakhapatnam) and the southern Air Command (Thiruvananthapuram).
  • The Maritime Theatre Command will report to the joint chiefs of staffs committee led by the Chief of Defence Staff.
  • The main objective of the MTC is to integrate the assets of Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
  • Maritime Theatre Command is the first geographical theatre command being created as a part of the biggest ever military restructuring plan.
  • The 91 Brigade located at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and the 108 Brigade located at Port Blair is to bring the requisite “Expeditionary Reaction Capability” of land forces to the MTC.
  • The Western Coast Guards and Eastern Coast Guards along with their patrol boats, helicopters and aircrafts will be responsible for coastal security under the Maritime Theatre Command.
  • Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets with BrahMos cruise missiles at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu and the Jaguar fighter jets at Jamnagar and other air assets operating under the Southern Air Command will in turn report to the Maritime Theatre Command.
  • The Andaman & Nicobar will no longer have a C-in-C level post. It will be headed by a fortress commander who will in turn report to C-in-C of the Eastern Naval Command. This Command in turn reports to the Maritime Theatre Command.

Similar theatre commands are to be launched for the land borders with LAC China and LoC Pakistan.

Backdrop

As of 2020, India has 17 single-service commands. It includes 7 Indian Army commands, 3 Navy commands and 7 Indian Air Force commands. Only two existing tri service command came up after Kargil war 1999. The Andaman & Nicobar command was set up as a geographical command in October year 2001. In January 2003, nuclear arsenal command set up.

One of the key responsibilities of the Chief of Defence Staff is to ensure integration among the tri services.

India’s First Maritime Theatre Command India’s First Maritime Theatre Command