On Naval Acquisitions: The Indian Navy has inducted 14 ships and advanced aircraft including P8I, MiG-29Ks and Hawk AJTs in the XIIth Plan (2012-17). Additional platforms likely to be inducted in the current plan include one Kolkata class destroyer, two P-28 Corvettes, three NOPVs, three Cadet Training Ships, eight Landing Craft Utility, four Waterjet FACs and one Scorpene submarine. The Indian Navy would also be inducting state-of-the-art aircraft and helicopters to augment our surveillance and integral aviation capabilities including, additional deck-based fighters, Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft and Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (HAJT).
The Indian Navy has evolved into a balanced, multi-dimensional, multi-spectrum force, with a mix of ships, submarines, and aircraft (manned and unmanned), with dedicated satellite and information systems. This is in consonance with our roles, missions and objectives in our primary and secondary areas of interest.
On P-75 & P-75I Programmes: The construction of six P-75 submarines at Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai, has picked up speed and the first INS Kalvari is planned for sea trials shortly. The project is being monitored at the highest level. We have also taken measures to meet the interim operational needs by progressing a proposal for Medium Refit-cum-Life Certification programme for a few of the older submarines, which will take us through till the newer submarines are inducted. The P-75(I) programme is being progressed for construction at a suitable Indian shipyard in collaboration with a foreign partner under transfer of technology.
On IAC-2: The broad parameters and characteristics for the next aircraft carrier, IAC-2, are still under development. The initial concept envisages it to have around 65,000 tons displacement. Detailed studies on the type and complement of aircraft and options for ship’s propulsion, both conventional and non-conventional, are being progressed to further refine our design options. However, a final decision on the aircraft carrier’s propulsion system would only be taken after the ongoing feasibility studies are completed in all respects.
On Indigenisation: As part of ‘Make in India’ drive, the Indian Navy has formulated a plan which covers a 15-year period from 2015 to 2030. This plan, called the Indian Naval Indigenisation Plan (INIP) 2015-30 was released in July 2015 by the defence minister, during a seminar on Innovation and Indigenisation, which was hosted by the Indian Navy and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The INIP 2015-30 has been uploaded on the Indian Navy’s website and also on CII website for access by the Indian industry. The document enumerates major technology areas and capabilities that the Indian public and private sector industry may focus on, to meet the indigenisation needs of the Indian Navy.
Various equipment and systems proposed to be indigenised for the navy have also been listed. The INIP 2015-30 is, thus, a major enabler of ‘Make in India’ drive, which will further boost indigenous development of equipment for naval platforms, within our own country.
On PLA-Navy: As far as PLA Navy’s presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is concerned, this has been going on since 2008. They are involved in anti-piracy operations. Their submarines, both nuclear and conventional, also operate in this region. We monitor all their activities and shift assets in our Area of Responsibility (AoR) as and when required. Our P-8I aircraft based at Rajali carry out surveillance across the IOR and also operate from Port Blair when the need arises. We also have sufficient assets in the Andamans to secure our maritime interests.
On Coastal Security: Steady progress is being made in strengthening the coastal security apparatus viz. induction of FICs, ISVs and NC3I project. There is a need to remain vigilant and focused towards our coastal security responsibilities through proactive coordination with other maritime agencies and coastal states.