CNS answered to SP’s on Navy Day press conference
SP’s M.A.I.: You spoke about the positive maritime environment, a very pleasing terminology. How does the Navy ensure, which all steps, to guarantee that the maritime environment remains very positive?
CNS: As far as the positive maritime environment goes, India being the largest country in the Indian Ocean region (IOR), and Indian Navy being the largest navy in the IOR, we work with like-minded nations and the navies to create this environment. We support capability building and capacity assessment in the form of providing training to a very large number of countries within the IOR. Over a thousand officers and sailors of IOR nations and countries train with us. We have provided and we go and patrol the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of island nations, we exercise together with our maritime neighbours. I have just come back from ‘The Galle Dialogue’ where we had the discussions that all these initiatives make a positive environment. We have resolved our boundary dispute with Bangladesh. We coordinate our patrol in the Gulf of Aden along with Japan, China and South Korea, so all this put together makes a positive maritime environment. SP’s: US-2 was supposed to be signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to Japan, but somehow it was delayed. What numbers are we looking for and what is the progress on the deal?
CNS: The number that we are looking at present is six as of now. As far as signature of the deal, it was mere speculation by the media only it was not on the agenda of the Prime Minister during his visit to Japan. SP’s: The private sector engagement like Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) are competing for the Landing Platform Docks (LPD) programme. Can you elaborate on the status and when the winner is likely to be announced?
CNS: The technical evaluation of the bids has been done and both L&T and Reliance have qualified in the technical evaluation and the commercial bids are expected to be opened shortly. SP’s: What has been the reason behind LCA Navy not meeting the QR of Indian Navy?
CNS: LCA with its present engine is too heavy, hence not suitable for operating from a carrier. It does not meet the thrust and weight ratio requirement to be able to take off with the full weapon load.