Coastal Se­cu­rity Plan Phase-ii must be fin­ished on time: Antony

SP's MAI - - MILITARY -

The De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony called upon the top brass of the In­dian Navy and the In­dian Coast Guard to en­sure timely im­ple­men­ta­tion of mea­sures en­vis­aged un­der PhaseII of the Coastal Se­cu­rity Plan. Ad­dress­ing the Naval Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence in New Delhi on May 14, he said the National Com­mand Con­trol, Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and In­tel­li­gence Net­work Pro­ject is to be­come op­er­a­tional later this year. This real-time link be­tween the Op­er­a­tions Rooms of the Navy and the Coast Guard will surely syn­er­gise coastal se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions.

Re­fer­ring to strength­en­ing Navy’s mar­itime sup­port in­fra­struc­ture, es­pe­cially in the is­lands, Antony said, the con­struc­tion of ad­di­tional bases and naval air sta­tions in the An­daman and Ni­co­bar Is­lands and the Lak­shad­weep and Mini­coy Is­lands is nec­es­sary to fur­ther ex­tend In­dia’s op­er­a­tional reach. Antony com­pli­mented the In­dian Navy for check­ing piracy in the Gulf of Aden to some ex­tent and for en­sur­ing that the men­ace does not spread to­wards In­dian wa­ters.

Com­pli­ment­ing the Navy for its in­di­geni­sa­tion ef­forts of de­fence pro­duc­tion, he said 46 of the 48 naval plat­forms, cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion, are be­ing built in In­dia. “In­di­geni­sa­tion of equip­ment, es­pe­cially weapons and sen­sors, in as­so­ci­a­tion with the De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) through the ‘Buy & Make (In­dian)’ route is an ini­tia­tive that needs to be car­ried for­ward strongly and repli­cated in other spheres.”

He said there are some op­er­a­tional con­straints re­gard­ing con­ven­tional sub­marines, ship-borne helicopters and mine counter mea­sure ves­sels. The De­fence Min­is­ter re­it­er­ated that funds will never be a con­straint for cap­i­tal ac­qui­si­tion and will be made avail­able, but they should be used in the most ju­di­cious man­ner.

Antony said the se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment pre­vail­ing in our neigh­bor­hood, se­cu­rity of national as well as phys­i­cal se­cu­rity of our bases, dock­yards, ships, sub­marines, air­craft, etc. can­not be ig­nored at any cost.

A high­light of the con­fer­ence was that for the first time ever, it was held by “Telepres­ence” be­tween New Delhi and Naval Com­mands, thus do­ing away with travel of the par­tic­i­pat­ing Com­man­ders and sup­port­ing staff. The In­dian Navy has thus be­come the first Ser­vice to con­duct a con­fer­ence of this mag­ni­tude through video con­fer­enc­ing. The site at Naval Head­quar­ters in New Delhi was linked seam­lessly with the Com­mand Head­quar­ters at Mum­bai, Vizag and Kochi us­ing a se­cure video and data link.

Ad­mi­ral D.K. Joshi, Chief of the Naval Staff, noted the high tempo of op­er­a­tions main­tained by all naval units and ob­served that the in­duc­tion of ships and sub­marines would be pri­mar­ily in­dige­nous in the com­ing years. Naval avi­a­tion was also poised for ma­jor growth.

De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony at the Naval Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence 2013 in New Delhi on May 14, 2013. The De­fence Sec­re­tary Shashikant Sharma and the Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral D.K. Joshi are also seen.

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