Key Highlights of CNS Admiral Sunil Lanba’s Navy Day 2018 Annual Press Conference
Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 03 December 2018
Chinese submarine was tracked in Indian Ocean in October this year and that stayed in Indian Ocean for about a month. Chinese conventional boat, not nuke submarine, entered Indian Ocean. It was a conventional boat, it was tracked the day it entered the Indian Ocean region and this boat has gone back after a deployment of one month. At any point in time, 6-to-8 Chinese PLAN warships will be found in the Indian Ocean. China has been deploying submarine in the IOR since 2013 and they alternate between a conventional boat followed by a nuclear-powered attack submarine and there has been no change in this pattern of deployment.
Chinese plan of building the naval strategic base in Gadhoo atoll can only be answered by the Maldivian government. If there is a future presence of PLA Navy ships in Pakistan’s Gwadar port will pose a security challenge to India.
Coming in power of a favourable government in the Maldives will help the two countries to strengthen their maritime cooperation.
RNEL is undergoing corporate debt restructuring (CDR) and they are being taken to court by their banker IDBI. The contract has not been cancelled yet but the Navy is looking into it what can be done. The bank guarantees of Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited (RNEL), which has an order to supply five offshore patrol vessels (OPV), have been encashed.
Indian Navy is hoping to induct 56 warships and submarines and the process for bringing in a third aircraft carrier has also been initiated. Navy is looking at inducting 56 warships and submarines to enhance its strength. This is apart from 32 warships under construction. Case for a second IAC has received necessary impetus, though it is still a decade away. Construction would be spread over 7-10 years. Construction may start in three years.
We have overwhelming superiority over Pakistan at sea. The balance of power in Indian Ocean is with the Indian Navy, however in the South China Sea China has a similar advantage.
Navy is keeping a round-the-clock vigil on India’s maritime domain. the process for installing automated identification transponders on around 2.5 lakh fishing boats has begun as part of efforts to enhance coastal security.
Indian Navy conducted 20 exercises with friendly foreign navies. Indian Navy will conduct begin TROPEX and Ex Sea Vigil in January 20019 to test the robustness of coastal security apparatus.
Indian Navy does not has two fronts. Indian Ocean is the only front.
The three services have finally agreed on a permanent chief of staff committee and the rules and responsibilities have been sent to the Defence Ministry.
We must have a higher defence organisation in Delhi before we can have theatre commands. We need one operational commander.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.