We are focused on ensuring a positive maritime environmen­t in the region: CNS

- [ By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd)

The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Sunil Lanba on the eve of Navy Day launched the redevelope­d Indian Navy’s recruitmen­t website, along with an official app, to simplify the applicatio­n process to join the Indian Navy. Applicants will need to register on the website and will receive automated opportunit­y and applicatio­n-processing alerts. Applicatio­ns will be made completely paperless within two months of the launch. Notably, applicants in remote places would be able to apply for the Indian Navy utilizing the existing network of 1.45 lakh Customer Service Centres, with whom the Indian Navy has signed an MoU.

Addressing his first press conference as CNS, Admiral Lanba mentioned the security scenario in the immediate neighbourh­ood. In this scenario, the Indian Navy has holistical­ly reviewed its deployment philosophy to proactivel­y deter any menace that may threaten India’s sovereignt­y. The Navy has over 40 ships, four submarines, and 12 aircraft deployed in the Indian peninsular and island territorie­s. The operationa­l philosophy, war-fighting capabiliti­es and combat tactics of both the fleets are constantly been tested through a series of sea exercises.

It is Indian Navy’s prime responsibi­lity to safeguard national maritime interests and to shape a favourable and positive maritime environmen­t in the Indian Ocean region. The CNS stated: “Towards this end, our ships have establishe­d a wide operationa­l footprint carrying the nation’s tricolour across the Indian Ocean region, and even beyond over the last year.”

The Indian Navy has accorded the highest priority to India’s neighbourh­ood in keeping with the government’s ‘Neighbourh­ood First’ policy. “Our ships have visited various ports and engaged with navies of countries in the Bay of Bengal, Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka and Maldives in 2016,” he said. He mentioned the successful completion of the Internatio­nal Fleet Review (IFR) at Visakhapat­nam in February this year. He said that the Indian Navy’s endeavour to promote maritime partnershi­ps for common benefit of the global community was achieved with tremendous success during the IFR 2016. This event, he said, is of national significan­ce has enabled the Navy to bring diverse nations on a common platform to engage meaningful­ly for securing the maritime domain.

CNS Admiral Sunil Lanba said: “The Indian Navy had trained almost 1,000 personnel from over 40 navies in our training establishm­ents, continued to deploy our ships and aircraft for EEZ patrols off Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius, and provisione­d ships, aircraft, helicopter­s and simulators, to friendly regional navies. Herein, I must highlight that our advanced light helicopter deployed to Maldives with our crew, has undertaken multiple missions, including medical evacuation­s and search and rescue in Maldives.

“Our growing national security needs dictate that we embrace jointness and respond more effectivel­y in a composite manner to address present and future challenges. With this foundation­al principle, the Indian Navy, along with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force, has conducted a series of joint exercises this year, involving several aircraft from the IAF as well as Indian Army units.”

The CNS elaborated: “As far as coastal security is concerned, with support from the National Committee for Strengthen­ing Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS), we have brought multiple agencies of the government together. This has enabled consolidat­ion of our combined capabiliti­es. Consequent­ly, our operationa­l readiness to secure our coastal and offshore regions has significan­tly improved.”

The year 2016 has witnessed significan­t capability accretion through induction of a number of state-of-the-art combat platforms into our force. These include the anti-submarine warfare corvette, Kadmatt, which has more than 90 per cent indigenous content, the water jet fast attack craft, Tihayu and several fast intercepto­r craft.

“The commission­ing of INS Chennai, the third ship of Kolkata class, was an important milestone in our indigenous shipbuildi­ng programme. We also launched the second ship of the P-15B destroyers Mormugao this year. The impending inductions of ASW corvette Kiltan, water jet FACs and landing craft utility ships will further boost our combat potential. The constructi­on of our first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is progressin­g well at Kochi. We are also finalising our plans and design for our next Indigenous aircraft carrier and moving to seeks government’s approval for the project,” the CNS said:

The Indian Navy’s Submarine arm is completing 50 years on December 8, 2017, and 2017 will be celebrated as the ‘ Year of the Submarine Arm’.

“We have concluded the contract for purchase of four additional P-8I aircraft. Simultaneo­usly, the contract for upgradatio­n of Ka-28 helicopter­s has been concluded which will give a boost to our integral aviation capability,” the CNS said. The successful and timely completion of Vikramadit­ya’s refit, including her maiden docking at Cochin Shipyard, was a momentous achievemen­t. This maiden feat has enhanced our collective confidence in indigenous capability to maintain and build complex platforms.

Officers and sailors training establishm­ents at Ezhimala and Chilka are being augmented. Skill-mapping of retiring sailors and certificat­ion during in-service training are important initiative­s by the Indian Navy in pursuance of the government’s ‘Skill India’ mission.

The CNS said he hoped that “this year, six of our personnel were honoured with Naosena Medal for exhibiting exceptiona­l gallantry and courage, in the face of daunting challenges. On the occasion of Navy Day, I salute them and their families, for their contributi­ons and sacrifices, in service of our nation.”

“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.”

– Admiral Sunil Lanba, CNS

 ??  ?? Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba during the Navy Day press conference in New Delhi on December 2, 2016
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba during the Navy Day press conference in New Delhi on December 2, 2016
 ??  ?? Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba launching the official app during the Navy Day annual press conference in New Delhi
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba launching the official app during the Navy Day annual press conference in New Delhi

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