New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Describing the rapid modernisation of the Chinese navy as a 'major concern,' Indian Navy Chief Admiral D.K. Joshi Monday underlined that this country is constantly acquiring capabilities and upgrading its infrastructure to meet emerging security challenges in the maritime domain.
'The modernisation (of the Chinese navy) is truly impressive... It is a actually a major major cause of concern for us, which we continuously evaluate and work out our options and our strategies,' he told reporters here ahead of Navy Day Dec 4.
Reinforcing the core mandate of the Indian Navy as 'net security providers' in the maritime domain, Joshi underlined that 'whilst the navy is prepared to meet any form of traditional threat, it is constantly acquiring capabilities and realigning its operational ethos to meet emerging security challenges.'
He focused on scaling up the Indian Navy's capabilities and spurring the modernisation of the naval infrastructure to meet a host of challenges. 'Modernisation and enhancement of the navy's capabilities is an ongoing process, to meet emerging maritime challenges and threats. These include acquisition of aircraft carriers, stealth frigates, destroyers, corvettes, landing craft and submarines.'
'The navy would also be inducting state-of-the-art aircraft and helicopters to augment our surveillance and integral aviation capabilities,' he said.
In this context, he stressed on the indigenous production of cutting-edge ships and submarines. 'Our preferred choice of inducting ships and submarines has been through the indigenous route and of the 44 ships and submarines presently on order, 42 are from Indian shipyards, including private shipyards.'
Joshi added that over the next five years India expects to induct ships and submarines at an average rate of 5-6 per year. The ships of Kolkata Class (P-15A), the advanced P-15B ships and the Scorpene (P-75) submarines - all at Mumbai's Mazagon Dock Limited - are among the major vessels currently under construction in Indian shipyards.
'We are committed to create and sustain a combat-ready, technology-enabled and networked force capable of safeguarding our maritime interests and projecting combat power across littorals,' said Joshi.
'Ensuring combat readiness will, therefore, remain our primary focus,' he added.
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