De­fence Min­is­ter ad­dresses Naval Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence


The De­fence Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man ad­dressed the Naval Lead­er­ship the Naval Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence which was held from Oc­to­ber 24 to 27. The De­fence Min­is­ter com­pli­mented the In­dian Navy for se­cur­ing the mar­itime in­ter­ests of the na­tion. Tak­ing note of the re­cent de­vel­op­ments in our mar­itime neigh­bour­hood, she em­pha­sised the need for the In­dian Navy to be strong at sea, and be ever ready and vig­i­lant to counter any chal­lenges in the mar­itime do­main.

The De­fence Min­is­ter ac­knowl­edged the high op­er­a­tional tempo main­tained by the Navy in the last one year through reg­u­lar de­ploy­ment of ships, sub­marines and air­craft from the South China Sea and Sea of Ja­pan in the East to the Per­sian Gulf and the At­lantic Ocean in the West and the shores of Aus­tralia in the South in­clud­ing the fo­cused ef­forts to de­ter piracy at­tempts off the Gulf of Aden. Par­tic­i­pa­tion in a num­ber of bi­lat­eral ex­er­cises and the un­prece­dented suc­cess of the Ex­er­cise Mal­abar with the US and the Ja­panese Navy ear­lier this year were lauded by the De­fence Min­is­ter.

She took note of the crit­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity short­falls that the Navy is fac­ing in ship-borne multi-role heli­copters, con­ven­tional sub­marines and mine counter mea­sure ves­sels, which need ur­gent re­dres­sal to main­tain the com­bat edge of the Navy. She as­sured the Com­man­ders’ that that th­ese is­sues were be­ing given due im­pe­tus and ef­forts were in hand to mit­i­gate th­ese short­com­ings at the ear­li­est.

The Min­is­ter also com­mended the ef­forts of the Navy to con­struc­tively en­gage with the In­dian Ocean re­gion (IOR) lit­torals to build their ca­pac­i­ties and en­hance their ca­pa­bil­i­ties. She also men­tioned the ini­tia­tives taken by the In­dian Navy to im­part prac­ti­cal train­ing for naval per­son­nel from IOR lit­toral na­tions on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

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