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Indian Navy fully geared to protect India’s maritime interests: Admiral R Hari Kumar

“There is a clear dissemination of national policy, there is greater awareness of national security challenges, direct responsibility and accountability to the political executive, faster decisions, faster approvals, much reduced processing time, handling of subjects by subject matter experts and fewer layers of bureaucracy,” said Admiral Kumar.

SNS | New Delhi |

While acknowledging the security challenges facing the country, newly appointed Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar on Friday said his force was fully confident of defending the nation’s maritime interests.

He said the Indian Navy was carrying out acquisition of hardware and platforms in keeping with the security challenges.

Addressing a press conference, he said the details of the proposed maritime command were being worked out and indicated that its basic structure could come up by next year.

On China and its maritime activities, Admiral Kumar said the Indian Navy was keeping track of Chinese forays into the Indian Ocean region, and added that Beijing’s activities and those of Pakistan were being closely watched. ”I would like to assure the nation that the Indian Navy stands ready to deal with any security challenge…we are fully confident of defending India’s maritime interests,” he added.

On the creation of theatre commands – ie integrating units of the Army, Navy and the Air Force — he described the decision to form such commands and the creation of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as the “single most important higher defence reform” since India’s independence in 1947.

“There is a clear dissemination of national policy, there is greater awareness of national security challenges, direct responsibility and accountability to the political executive, faster decisions, faster approvals, much reduced processing time, handling of subjects by subject matter experts and fewer layers of bureaucracy,” said Admiral Kumar.

“I find that the Department of Military Affairs has made a substantial difference to the way armed forces process issues at headquarters,” he said.

Asked about the reported differences within the three wings of the defence forces on the creation of theatre commands, he said “jointness and integration is not something that can happen in a very very short time. It is a complicated process, it’s not something that can be put together in a very short time.”

On the Indo-Pacific and the role of the Indian Navy, the Navy chief said the region had great significance for India given that $ 200 billion of trade passed through the waters of the Indo-Pacific. Indian diaspora had a strong presence along the littorals, he said.