India and Russia contract for 4 new stealth frigates
Indian Navy “well equipped to counter Chinese threats”
Admiral Sunil Lanba, CNS has said that the Indian Navy is closely tracking increasing Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) “and is well prepared to counter any threat to national security”. The CNS said that there has been noticeable increase in the deployment of Chinese ships, submarines and research vessels in the IOR. While the early Chinese deployments were projected as anti- piracy deployments, the setting up of bases and the increasing presence of ships and submarines have implications for the regional security environment. “The Indian Navy constantly evaluates the maritime security environment in our areas of interest and manages its own deployments to address new challenges.”
L&T launches second Offshore Patrol Vessel for ICG
Larsen & Toubro launched the second Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) CGS Vijaya, of a series of seven OPVs for the Indian Coast Guard at the company’s defence shipyard at Kattupalli, near Chennai on 20 January 2018. The first OPV was launched in October 2017 and is presently undergoing trials. These OPVs are long-range surface ships embarking a helicopter and their roles include coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy, but with limited wartime roles.
India and Russia have finalised contracts for four new stealth frigates for the Indian Navy for some $3 billion per vessel. Designated the Upgraded Krivak III- class, the first two frigates will be built at the Yantar Shipyard, in Kaliningrad, Russia, followed by two at Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL). Delivery of the first frigate will begin within four years of signing the contract. The IN already operates six Krivak III frigates, the first three being commissioned between June 2003 and April 2004, followed by another three between April 2012 and June 2013.
Exercise ‘Milan 2018’
Exercise Milan 2018 was conducted during 6-13 March 2018 in the strategic area around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. “We have gradually expanded the scale and scope to include other Indian Ocean Region littoral nations”, Admiral Lanba stated. The crucial sea phase of the exercise was conducted from 11-13 March 2018. “This year, we provided much greater operational focus, including maritime interdiction operations and maritime search and rescue,” said the Navy Chief while talking about addition to the growing complexities of the Milan series which had commenced with just four nations in 1995. As many as 23 nations were invited this year, another part of the exercise focussed on “enhancing regional cooperation for combating unlawful activities at sea”. As for non-participation of the Maldives, this was deemed to be “owing to the internal political crises in the island republic.”
INS Karanj: third submarine of Scorpene- class launched
The third Scorpene- class submarine, INS Karanj was launched at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, on 31 January 2018, being built by MDL under Project 75 of the Indian Navy. In all, six Scorpene- class submarines are being indigenously built at MDL under Project 75 with help of French naval defence