On the occasion of Navy Day 2017, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba spoke on events of the past year as well as providing some insight into the Indian Navy’s future. His remarks are reproduced below.
With continuing focus on the Indian Navy, the CNS addressed highlights of the past year as well as providing some insights into the Service’s future. These include force level planning and new acquisitions including the indigenous aircraft carrier, modernisation of the submarine arm and an expansion of Naval Aviation.
The Indian Navy in 2017
We are all well aware of the prevailing security scenario in the maritime domain. The continued presence of both traditional and non- traditional threats in the maritime domain demands constant attention and robust mitigating actions. The Indian Navy is accordingly actively engaged in ensuring safety and security in India’s maritime areas of interest. We have adopted several new measures to effectively fulfil our commitment to the nation. These are aimed at making our processes and structures more efficient and outcome-oriented.
On the operational front, we have re- oriented our deployment philosophy to ‘mission-based deployments.’ We have maintained a continuous presence off the Horn of Africa for anti-piracy operations since October 2008. Indian Naval Ships deployed on anti-piracy patrols have been actively involved in foiling piracy attempts in the Gulf of Aden. In addition, regular deployment of naval ships and aircraft is being maintained in the North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, the Andaman Sea and approaches to the strategically important straits of Malacca, Lombok and Sunda. In short, our ships and aircraft are deployed from the Gulf of Aden to the Western Pacific on an almost 24 x 7 basis.
Waters beyond this geographical expanse are also frequented as part of our international maritime engagements in the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. This deployment philosophy has ensured a high degree of presence, visibility and situational awareness in important maritime regions across the globe.
The overall combat capability of the Navy was tested during our annual Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise, TROPEX, conducted in Feb-March 2017. The exercise saw participation of 45 ships, 5 submarines and more than 50 aircraft from the Navy as well as 11 ships from the Indian Coast Guard. In addition, about 20 aircraft and the Garud Special Forces of the Air Force and Airborne Special Forces and Amphibious units from the Indian Army participated. I must highlight that the exercise provided great opportunity for progressing jointness among our three Services in planning and execution of combat operations. Jointness was also honed through the annual Joint Disaster Relief