Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff answers a few quick questions of Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal at the Annual Press Conference on the eve of Navy Day
“Mission-Based Deployment:We now have a constant presence of a ship deployed in Andaman Sea and mouth of Malacca Straits. We have ships on deployment in the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the North Arabian Sea, the North Bay of Bengal, and the strategica
Jayant Baranwal: You spoke about Mission-Based Deployment. Can you elaborate the objectives and essence of this concept? And also which kind of assets are being and are likely to be utilized?
CNS: Honorable Prime Minister has initiated “Security and Growth for All in the Region” i.e. SAGAR, and we have, being net security provider in the IOR, based on these initiatives, re-examined the deployment and philosophy. We are now on a Mission-Based Deployment where assets are deployed in our maritime areas of interest. We had an ongoing deployment since October 2008 in the Gulf of Aden.
We now have a constant presence of a ship deployed in Andaman Sea and mouth of Malacca Straits. We have ships on deployment in the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the North Arabian Sea, the North Bay of Bengal, and the strategically important Straits of Lombok.
At the same time our long range maritime patrol aircraft are also deployed to cover our areas of interest. All this is to ensure that we have (an effective) presence in our areas of interest and we have maritime domain awareness. All the ingress and egress routes to the IOR are covered and we are operationally available to react to any emerging situation.
As a part of this when there was a cyclone which had hit Bangladesh and Myanmar, the ship which was en route Andaman Sea for deployment was diverted, she picked up and rescued 33 Bangladeshi nationals who were all floating holding on to a branch of a tree, 90 nautical miles out at sea. Same ship after delivering relief material went on to Myanmar. So this kind of presence has improved the domain awareness and the effectiveness to be able to react as the key security provider in the IOR.
Jayant Baranwal: Is the deck-based fighter, you are looking for, required for IAC-1?
CNS: Yes. IAC-1 is designed to operate the MiG-29K and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). So, (indeed) we need deck-based fighter for IAC-1 (as the LCA is not combat-ready).
Jayant Baranwal: So, does this mean that twin-engine fighter programme is meant for IAC-1?
“Honorable Prime Minister has initiated ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ i.e. SAGAR, and we have, being net security provider in the IOR (Indian Ocean region), based on these initiatives, re-examined the deployment and philosophy.”
(Left) P-8I maritime patrol aircraft; (right) Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-1