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Keeping a close watch on developments in Indian Ocean: Navy chief

There are a lot of Chinese ships which operate in the Indian Ocean Region. We have about 4-6 PLA Navy ships, then some research vessels which operate, said Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The Indian Navy is closely monitoring all developments in the Indian Ocean, including the movement of Chinese Navy ships that operate in the region, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said on Saturday.

“There are a lot of Chinese ships which operate in the Indian Ocean Region. We have about 4-6 PLA Navy ships, then some research vessels which operate. A large number of Chinese fishing vessels operate in the Indian Ocean Region. We keep a close watch on all developments,” the Navy chief said at his annual press meet ahead of the Indian Navy Day tomorrow.

He noted that nearly 60-odd other extra-regional forces were always present in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

“We are aware it’s a vital region where there is a large amount of trade which transits, energy flows which happen. Our job is to see that India’s interests in the maritime domain are protected,” he added.

The Navy chief said maintaining a credible deterrence was the task of any armed force, especially the Navy.

Admiral Kumar said the aim of the Indian Navy was to have  Made in India, Made by India, and Made for India security solutions so that it could contribute to the ”Atma Nirbharta” mission. As far as the optimisation of the Budget was concerned, the Indian Navy was driving self-reliance and development of indigenous technology and it had adequate funding for all capital projects, he said.

Admiral Kumar said the Navy was following the motto of being combat-ready, credible, cohesive, and future-proof force. He also stated that the Indian Navy has achieved a very high operational tempo in the last one year.

Citing recent global events like the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he said India could not stay dependent on the world for its defence requirements. He added that the government has given the Navy very clear guidelines on ”Atmanirbhar Bharat”.

“Recent global events amply underscore that we can’t remain dependent on others for our own security requirements… The government has given us very clear guidelines on Atma Nirbhar Bharat and one of the Navy’s commitments to the top leadership is that we’ll become an Aatmanirbhar Navy by 2047,” he said.

Speaking on the Agnipath Scheme, he said the first batch of 3000 ”Agniveers” including 341 women sailors, have been inducted and their training has begun at INS Chilka this month.