M A I N   N E W S

Navy chief fears reduction in force
Tribune News Service

Kochi, April 25
Mismatch between decommissioning of old ships and induction of new vessels could result in a reduction of force levels, which could adversely affect the Navy’s commitments.

Stating this here today, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Madhvendra Singh, said if the Navy decommissions ships as per schedule, then the force level would come down from about 140 ships to 120 ships over the next three years.

The Navy chief said a lot of orders for equipment have been placed with Indian shipyards. “They cannot deliver as fast as we would like. So we may consider to acquire ships from foreign shipyards,” he said.

On the indigenous Air Defence Ship (ADS), Admiral Madhvendra conceded that the schedule for cutting steel has slipped by a few months as there was some problem with procurement.

The Navy presently operates a single aircraft carrier, Viraat. Presently in dry dock, the ship is on its last leg and will be retired from service by the end of the decade.

There is also some good news for the Navy. The next few years, the chief said, would be very “interesting and exciting” with a range of equipment coming in.

Beginning this year with the induction of three Talwar Class stealth frigates, KA-31 helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and the Barak anti-missile system, which have given the Navy a shot in the arm, a massive new base at Karwar is expected to become functional next year. Also on the cards is an expansion of the submarine fleet. 


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