Navy Chief on Self-Reliance
At the customary Navy Day press conference held at New Delhi, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral D.K. Joshi gave updates of various Indian Navy programmes, including the P-8I which is going great, the recently issued RFP for MRMR and Arihant likely to be in
There has been no pirate attack reported within 450 nautical miles of our coast in the last two years,” said the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral D.K. Joshi, while also calling for regulations to check the incidences of private floating armouries and the private armed guards operating close to Indian waters. Addressing a press conference ahead of the Navy Day on December 3, the Navy Chief said that the floating armouries could perpetrate attacks similar to 26/11. “Adverse fallout of piracy of serious concern is the largely unregulated carriage of armed guards onboard merchant ships. There are scores of ships operating as floating armouries, outside any coastal state jurisdiction. Lack of any provisions to deal with such vessels or armed personnel hampers legal actions. We have recommended that this necessitates formulation of a regulatory framework by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).”
Expressing satisfaction at India’s effort at self-reliance, the Navy Chief said that the Navy is proud that all 45 ships and submarines, which are currently on order for Indian Navy, are being constructed in India in both public as well as private shipyards. “Launch of Vikrant, attainment of criticality of Arihant’s nuclear reactor and its impending sea trials, induction of Shivalik class stealth frigates, ongoing trials of Kolkata, the lead ship of Project 15 A stealth destroyers, have demonstrated the strength of our research and development (R&D), naval design and industry. The synergy between Navy, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and industry has enhanced the pace, quantum and quality of indigenisation. Globally very few select countries construct their own ships, aircraft carriers and submarines, including nuclear ones, and this achievement is a matter of national pride.”
The launch of GSAT-7 in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a dedicated satellite for Navy under project Rukmani is a landmark achievement in enhancement of our blue-water networked operations. We are also supporting ISRO in the Mars Mission through Naval teams embarked on ships currently in the South Pacific.”
Explaining further to a question on self-reliance raised by Jayant Baranwal, Editor-in-Chief, SP’s M.A.I, CNS said that a lot of money needs to be invested in R&D and the industry has to show interest. “Our enthusiasm is 100 per cent, the industry has to respond.” In the three operational capabilities required for a ship—“float, move and fight”—he said “we have 100 per cent capability in the first category, something to be really proud of; while a lot of improvement is needed in the ‘move’ and ‘fight’ categories.” Giving details on India’s self-reliance efforts, Vice Admiral N.N. Kumar, the Chief of Material, Indian Navy, informed SP’s that the Indian Navy, DRDO, the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and industry are working together on many programmes; Pipavav is working on five offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), and Larsen and Toubro (L&T) on torpedo tubes and rocket launchers.
Replying to a question on coastal security by Jayant Baranwal, the Navy Chief informed that the costal security measures taken at present are at a vastly improved stage and much of the hardware for the coastal security network has already fructified. As regards registration of the fishing vessels, he said that the process is on. He assured that the Navy continues to maintain enhanced vigil across the entire spectrum of India’s maritime interests, including coastal security and is enhancing its preparedness gradually. “Coastal security remains a key focus area for us. With regular exercises and setting up of Joint Operations
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral D.K. Joshi at the Indian Navy Day press conference held at New Delhi