ED­I­TO­RIAL

SP's NavalForces - - COVER STORY - Jayant Baran­waL Pub­lisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

In con­so­nance with the pre­am­ble on Indian Naval Avi­a­tion on the web­site of Indian Navy, it is but ap­pro­pri­ate that the lead story cov­ers the devel­op­ment and mod­erni­sa­tion of the Indian Naval Avi­a­tion. The most ex­cit­ing news was the is­sue of re­quest for in­for­ma­tion for a multi-role, deck-based com­bat air­craft.

In a rare me­dia in­ter­ac­tion with SP’s Naval Forces, Sec­re­tary De­fence Pro­duc­tion, Ashok Kumar Gupta, lu­cidly enun­ci­ated his Min­istry's ini­tia­tives of Make in In­dia in the aerospace and de­fence sec­tor. He spoke on a num­ber of is­sues which are rel­e­vant to the sub­ject like for­eign direct in­vest­ment, in­dus­trial li­cens­ing, de­fence ex­ports, de­fence off­sets and level play­ing field. On the is­sue of en­cour­ag­ing pri­vate ship­yards to join hands in Make in In­dia, he said that a sub­stan­tial share of de­fence ship­build­ing is be­ing of­fered to them.

The other much awaited event was In­dias an­nual bud­get which now on will be an­nounced on Fe­bru­ary 1 of ev­ery year and will also in­clude the rail­way bud­get. Out of a to­tal al­lo­ca­tion of ` 86,488.01 crore (about $13.3 bil­lion) for the cap­i­tal bud­get, al­lo­ca­tion for the Navy is ` 19,348.16 crore (about $3 bil­lon) which is marginally down from last year's re­vised es­ti­mates of ` 19,596.28 crore. This is bit of a damp­ener but with elec­tions in five states in Fe­bru­ary, prob­a­bly this is the best the govern­ment could do. With the cur­rent cap­i­tal al­lo­ca­tion it will be dif­fi­cult to achieve a force level of 198 war­ships from the cur­rent fleet of 137 by 2027, which is the fu­ture vi­sion of the Navy. Still Navy is on an even keel and way ahead of the Army and the Air Force as 47 ships of all types are un­der con­struc­tion.

Be­fore demit­ting of­fice Pres­i­dent Barack Obama signed a cru­cial law re­lat­ing to the US-In­dia de­fence part­ner­ship, mak­ing In­dia as a ma­jor de­fence part­ner. The Bill des­ig­nated as En­hanc­ing De­fense and Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion with In­dia has been in­cor­po­rated as an amend­ment to the Na­tional De­fence Au­tho­riza­tion Act of 2017. This Bill has taken Indo-US de­fence co­op­er­a­tion to the next level.

With a coast­line of 4,675 km, an ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone cov­er­ing an area of 5,98,540 square km, and geo­graph­i­cally strad­dling some of the most im­por­tant sea lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the world, Malaysia is with­out doubt a mar­itime na­tion with an im­por­tant role to play in the re­gion thus a write-up on its navy is in­cluded.

SP’s Naval Forces had an ex­clu­sive op­por­tu­nity to visit the Frigate F-105 Ð Crist—bal Col—n, vis­it­ing Mum­bai on its on­wards jour­ney from Spain, cir­cum­nav­i­gat­ing the world. Do read the ex­clu­sive re­port by Neetu Dhu­lia on the ver­sa­tile and ag­ile Frigate from the house of Na­van­tia.

This is the year of Aero In­dia which is be­ing held at Ben­galuru from Fe­bru­ary 14-18, 2017. SP Guide Pub­li­ca­tions will have a big pres­ence as usual thus do visit us at Hall AB3.46. The is­sue is wrapped up with the cus­tom­ary News in Brief.

Wish you all dis­cern­ing read­ers happy read­ing, and a Very Happy New Year 2017.

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