In­dian Navy on Course for Con­sol­i­da­tion

The Chief of Naval Staff stated that the year 2015 will be known as the pe­riod of con­sol­i­da­tion for a resur­gent In­dian Navy

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - Rear Ad­mi­ral Sushil Ram­say (Retd)

Chief of Naval Staff stated that the year 2015 will be known as the pe­riod of con­sol­i­da­tion for a resur­gent In­dian Navy.

AD­DRESS­ING THE TRA­DI­TIONAL PRESS con­fer­ence in New Delhi on the eve of the 43rd Navy Day, Ad­mi­ral R.K. Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), wel­comed the me­dia per­son­nel. He lauded the pos­i­tive role played by the me­dia through­out the year in pro­ject­ing the im­age of the In­dian Navy (IN) in the proper per­spec­tive.

While avail­ing the op­por­tu­nity to place in pub­lic do­main the fact­sheet on the state of In­dian Navy, CNS said that the morale of the In­dian Navy was at an all-time high. He cited var­i­ous de­vel­op­ments dur­ing the year, in­duc­tion of the air­craft car­rier Vikra­ma­ditya, which is fully op­er­a­tional and equipped to carry out mis­sions. He men­tioned that ad­di­tional MiG-29K air­craft have been in­ducted. In­duc­tion of six P8i air­craft has boosted the ca­pa­bil­ity in re­con­nais­sance, surveil­lance and track­ing.

CNS stated that the year 2015 will be known as the pe­riod of con­sol­i­da­tion for a resur­gent In­dian Navy. Con­sol­i­da­tion in op­er­a­tional sphere as a mul­ti­di­men­sional net­work-cen­tric force, con­sol­i­da­tion in main­te­nance as­pects to en­sure qual­ity re­fits on time for our ships and sub­marines and to en­sure that com­bat as­sets are kept in op­er­a­tional readi­ness round the clock. Con­sol­i­da­tion of our fu­ture projects to en­sure that the ships and sub­marines un­der con­struc­tion are de­liv­ered in a timely man­ner. Con­sol­i­da­tion of hu­man as­sets, as men and women be­hind the ma­chine re­main the great­est and most valu­able as­sets.

In­dian Navy’s Foot­prints on the Vast Ex­panse of the Mar­itime Do­main

CNS gave an ex­haus­tive over­view of the INs state of op­er­a­tional readi­ness to meet all of its as­signed re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, dur­ing the past year. He high­lighted the chal­lenges im­ping­ing on INs area of op­er­a­tions and stated that it had been a pe­riod of all-time high op­er­a­tional tempo. With the In­dian Ocean re­gion (IOR) emerg­ing as the cen­tre of grav­ity of the world trade, it re­mained a pri­mary fo­cus of at­ten­tion for the IN. Not only was IOR an eco­nomic high­way but has emerged as the main area of in­ter­est for the global econ­omy. This was borne from the fact that 66 per cent of the global oil, 50 per cent of con­tainer traf­fic and 33 per cent of the cargo traf­fic passes through th­ese wa­ters. Also, 80 per cent of the trade in IOR is be­tween ex­tra re­gional part­ners who are largely dif­fer­ent from what hap­pens in the Pa­cific and the At­lantic. Any im­ped­i­ment in the free flow of oil and trade would not only im­pact our econ­omy and the econ­omy of the re­gion but it would also have a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on the world econ­omy.

There­fore, at any given time there were over 100-120 ships from 20 dif­fer­ent coun­tries which are ac­tively de­ployed in the IOR. He men­tioned that China was now op­er­at­ing in the IOR—365 days, 24 x 7. The Peo­ples Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA) Navy task force op­er­ate on seven-eight months cy­cle and are re­lieved on task. The de­ploy­ment pat­tern has been the pa­trol of Gulf of Aden; there­after spend a month for Op­er­a­tional Turn Around dur­ing this phase visit in and around the Gulf re­gion. Even the PLA Navys SSNs are known to be de­ployed in the IOR. The foot­prints of the PLA Navy in the re­gion, in­clud­ing the ships and sub­ma­rine vis­its to our neigh­bour­ing coun­tries are be­ing mon­i­tored closely.

Pak­istan, on the other hand, apart from their in­ter­nal tur­moil, is mak­ing in­roads in es­tab­lish­ing their strate­gic com­mand,

which trans­lates into Pak­istan Navys as­pi­ra­tions to ac­quire nu­clear sub­marines. Also the as­sis­tance it is get­ting from China in the sub-sur­face area is a cause for con­cern. In our im­me­di­ate neigh­bour­hood what is hap­pen­ing in Iraq is well known. Hence, the en­vi­ron­ment can at best be called frag­ile or volatile. IN, there­fore, has to take this into ac­count for its op­er­a­tional preparedness.

CNS high­lighted that ear­lier this year IN had the largest ever The­atre Level Op­er­a­tional Readi­ness Ex­er­cises (TROPEX) which is an an­nual fea­ture. How­ever, the set­tings cov­ered the open ex­panse of the In­dian Ocean rather than con­fined/re­stricted to any coast of the Bay of Ben­gal or Ara­bian Sea. With the par­tic­i­pa­tion of 60 front­line ships, 57 air­craft, nu­clear sub­ma­rine Chakra, the air­craft car­rier and P8i air­craft the mag­ni­tude and the pitch of the ex­er­cises was unique in character. The naval satel­lite Ruk­mani, which has been op­er­a­tionalised for some time, was gain­fully utilised to val­i­date the con­cept of op­er­a­tions and has suc­cess­fully brought IN closer to net­work-cen­tric op­er­a­tions.

The two fleets were de­ployed across the oceans in ad­di­tion to reg­u­lar de­ploy­ments in their re­spec­tive ar­eas of op­er­a­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. The East­ern Fleet ships car­ried out Ex­er­cise In­dra with the Rus­sian Pa­cific Fleet, as far away as Vladi­vos­tok. After which they sailed off to Sasebo in South China Sea and ex­er­cised with the United States Navy for Mal­abar Ex­er­cise along with Ja­panese Mar­itime Self-de­fence Task Force par­tic­i­pat­ing for the first time in that re­gion. There­after, they vis­ited Viet­nam, Malaysia and Brunei.

INS Sahyadri was de­ployed all the way up to the Pa­cific Ocean. At Hawaii the ship par­tic­i­pated in a very large-scale joint mar­itime ex­er­cises wherein navies of 22 na­tions took part. The ship per­formed splen­didly and earned ac­co­lades all around.

Like­wise, the Western Fleet ships were de­ployed in the Gulf re­gion and East Africa. The ships were de­ployed in IOR, with vis­its to Sey­chelles, Mau­ri­tius and East Coast of Africa, as well and there­after par­tic­i­pated in the In­dia-Brazil-South Africa Mar­itime Ex­er­cises (IBSAMAR), which is a joint ex­er­cise in­volv­ing the In­dian Navy, Brazil­ian Navy and South African Navy.

INs Stealth Frigates had a highly suc­cess­ful de­ploy­ment to Qing­dao in China as part of the Western Pa­cific Naval Sym­po­sium. For the first time IN ships were de­ployed in RIMPAC, where ships from 22 other navies had par­tic­i­pated and our fleet ships had done the Navy proud by not only show­ing the flag across the seas but also dis­played their pro­fes­sion­al­ism. Co­or­di­nated pa­trols with Thai­land and In­done­sia as well as with Myan­mar. Reg­u­lar con­fi­dence build­ing ex­er­cises with the Sri Lankan Navy were also un­der­taken. Ships were de­ployed reg­u­larly for EEZ pa­trol in Mal­dives, Sey­chelles and Mau­ri­tius with the in­ten­tion of ca­pa­bil­ity en­hance­ment and ca­pac­ity build­ing of our mar­itime neigh­bours.

To­wards net­work­ing of the coastal se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus Rak­sha Mantri has in­au­gu­rated In­for­ma­tion Man­age­ment and Analy­ses Cen­tre (IMAC). This fa­cil­ity has been cre­ated in ex­ten­sion of beefing up coastal se­cu­rity ca­pa­bil­ity and in­fra­struc­ture to ob­vi­ate the re­peat of 26/11 episode in the fu­ture. As of now the coastal surveil­lance radars net­work is in place. 47 Au­to­matic Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem sta­tions have been es­tab­lished. In ad­di­tion, 51 IN and Coast Guard sta­tions have been com­mis­sioned. All th­ese have been net­worked to pro­vide real time in­puts for man­age­ment and anal­y­sis at IMAC, be­fore pass­ing on ac­tion­able in­puts to con­cerned agen­cies. IN and In­dian Coast Guard, along with nu­mer­ous state agen­cies are con­stantly on the vigil to en­sure coastal se­cu­rity at all time. Pe­ri­odic train­ing and reviews of state of preparedness are be­ing un­der­taken at the high­est lev­els.

Mar­itime Ca­pa­bil­ity Based and Mis­sion En­abled Force Level De­vel­op­ment

High­light­ing the im­por­tance of planned de­vel­op­ment for the fu­ture Navy, CNS cited that the first ma­jor step of the process was the first ever Plan Pa­per of 1948. This first Plan Pa­per has thus re­mained the cor­ner­stone for plan­ning the fu­ture IN. Over the decades, re­fine­ments have been in­cor­po­rated into the process to en­sure that the fo­cus is shifted from the bean-count­ing to ca­pa­bil­ity and mis­sion en­abled per­spec­tive plan. Ac­cord­ingly, in the 2005 the first Mar­itime Ca­pa­bil­ity Per­spec­tive Plan was adopted and the de­vel­op­ment of the fu­ture Navy is en­tirely cen­tred on th­ese tenets.

The CNS in­formed that Vikra­ma­ditya had been in­ducted and fully op­er­a­tionalised. The process of in­duc­tion of Air Wing of Vikra­ma­ditya was also com­plete. It is a mat­ter of great pro­fes­sional pride that the train­ing of the pi­lots to op­er­ate from Vikra­ma­ditya was un­der­taken in In­dia it­self. The sec­ond batch of the pi­lots were trained by IN’s own qual­i­fied fly­ing in­struc­tors. Six P-8I air­craft, which is one of the most po­tent plat­forms, have been in­ducted.

The last of the Shiva­lik class and the last of follow-on of Project 1135.6 from Rus­sia, INS Trik­hand, three off­shore ves­sels from the Goa Ship­yard and the crown­ing glory (in­so­far as ship de­sign and in­di­geni­sa­tion

With its in­her­ent ca­pa­bil­ity of ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity and flex­i­bil­ity the In­dian Navy is ready to be de­ployed any­where in the ar­eas of na­tional in­ter­est.

are con­cerned) was the com­mis­sion­ing of the first Project 15A ship INS Kolkata by the Prime Min­is­ter. This was fol­lowed closely by com­mis­sion­ing of the first ASW corvette of Project 28 at Visakha­p­at­nam.

The CNS men­tioned that as part of the sub­ma­rine pro­gramme, Chakra is now fully op­er­a­tional and Ari­hant was in its fi­nal stages of har­bour tri­als and ex­pected to move out for sea tri­als shortly. Ap­proval of the gov­ern­ment is be­ing ob­tained for ser­vice life ex­ten­sion of four EKM and two SSK classes of sub­marines. The Scor­pene sub­ma­rine pro­gramme had been pushed so that the first sub­ma­rine would be launched next year put to sea by Septem­ber 2016. The rest would follow in quick in­ter­vals of nine months each. Also gov­ern­ment has ap­proved all six of the stealth and AIP ca­pa­ble sub­marines of Project 75(I) to be con­structed in­dige­nously. Ac­cord­ingly, the Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) has con­sti­tuted a com­mit­tee to as­sess the in­fra­struc­ture and build ca­pa­bil­ity of the In­dian pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor ship­yards to con­struct the sub­marines in­dige­nously un­der joint ven­ture ar­range­ments with for­eign ship­yards.

Cur­rently, 41 ships and sub­marines were un­der con­struc­tion at var­i­ous pub­lic and pri­vate ship­yards. This in­cludes one air­craft car­rier, two Kolkata class de­stroy­ers, four guided mis­sile stealth de­stroy­ers, six Scor­pene sub­marines, three ASW corvettes, eight land­ing craft util­ity, five off­shore pa­trol ves­sels, three cadets train­ing ships, five survey ves­sels and four wa­ter­jet fast at­tack crafts. After its launch in Au­gust, Vikrant was un­der­go­ing fit­ment and in­te­gra­tion of var­i­ous sys­tems and is slated for de­liv­ery by the end of 2018.

New Ini­tia­tives

Drive to­wards a fully in­te­grated net­work-cen­tric Navy with multi-spec­tral data fu­sion, high speed data links and sen­sor to shooter in­te­gra­tion. Launch of naval satel­lite Ruk­mani some­time ago had helped in this di­rec­tion.

zzGreen foot­print along with our blue wa­ter op­er­a­tions, for which fu­ture bases ( Kar­war Phase II and ad­vance op­er­at­ing base off Visakha­p­at­nam) were be­ing de­signed with zero car­bon foot­prints. And in the ex­ist­ing bases, all as­pects re­lated to other forms of en­ergy, whether it is so­lar or any other form was be­ing taken care of. Re­cy­cling, cut­ting off of power emis­sion, op­ti­mis­ing use of fuel, wa­ter and elec­tric­ity were also be­ing done in a big way as far as our bases were con­cerned.

Con­clu­sion

CNS re­it­er­ated that pri­mar­ily IOR is the area of in­ter­est for the In­dian Navy. Sec­ondary area of in­ter­est is where In­dias na­tional in­ter­est re­sides. There­fore, pri­mary role of the In­dia Navy is to safe­guard the mar­itime in­ter­ests of the coun­try. With its in­her­ent ca­pa­bil­ity of ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity and flex­i­bil­ity the In­dian Navy is ready to be de­ployed any­where in the ar­eas of na­tional in­ter­est. He pointed out that in con­for­mance of this chal­lenge the theme for the en­su­ing year and for the fu­ture In­dian Navy Ð En­sur­ing Se­cure Seas for a Resur­gent Na­tion has been se­lected.

As the year 2014 is draw­ing to a close, it cer­tainly de­served to be des­ig­nated as the Year of Con­sol­i­da­tion. Although the year wit­nessed few set­backs, it is cer­tainly end­ing up on a high note for IN. Some most im­por­tant and crit­i­cal ap­provals of De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion Coun­cil support this op­ti­mism. Dur­ing this month it­self some crit­i­cal projects such as Project 75(I), SLEP, MRH and Bravo Ari­hant has suc­cess­fully sailed out for sea tri­als.

PHOTOGRAPHS: In­dian Navy

INS Vikra­ma­ditya

INS Kolkata

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