IFR can change dynamics in Indian Ocean, says Navy chief (Roundup)

Visakhapatnam, Feb 5 (IANS) The International Fleet Review (IFR) can change the dynamics in the Indian Ocean, Indian Navy chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan said on Friday, stressing on the need for global naval collaboration to safeguard international waters.

“The dynamics will change (in the Indian Ocean)… a large number of navies participating, there will be interactions, it will enhance coordination,” Admiral Dhowan told IANS here after a press conference that was also attended by chiefs and officers from several navies, including the US, Japan and China.

The naval chief said the IFR theme of ‘United through Oceans’ signifies that the global navies need to come together to guard international waters.

“Security and safety of global commons is the collective responsibility of navies around the world. No single navy is robust enough to provide security and safety to the global commons on its own,” Admiral Dhowan said.

“Maritime medium lends itself to cooperation; that is where it is the responsibility of men in white uniform, the navies, and coast guards to come up with cooperative mechanisms so that we can provide that safety and security,” he said.

Around 50 navies from across the world are participating in the IFR, the second of its kind and the largest military exercise by India.

“As we sail out, we will have the opportunity for exercises where crew of various ships will have opportunities to display their skills and this will increase our aspects of mutual cooperation and inter-operability,” the navy chief said at the press conference earlier.

“The seas around us are gaining more importance with each day passing by due to their linkagaes with the blue economy. Global maritime partnership and networking among navies is therefore emerging as the new order,” he said.

“The challenges in the maritime domain are wide and various, but we are confident to deal with them in collaboration with fellow maritime nations. International Fleet Reviews are maritime culture to build co-operation and relations between the navies of the world over,” he said.

Admiral Dhowan also stressed on indigenisation.

“Blueprint of future navy is anchored in indigenisation,” the navy chief said, adding that 46 ships are currently under construction in different yards.

The IFR is set to see the participation of 90 ships, including 24 warships and over 70 aircraft. In addition, ships of the Indian Coast Guard and mercantile marine would also participate.

The event that will take place here on Saturday will see columns of ships lined up in the review anchorage, and President Pranab Mukherjee will review the fleet.

“We look forward to showcase some aspects of our maritime capabilities,” he said.

Along with the fleet review, also showcased will be a flypast, a parade of sails with Yatches, two sail training ships of the Indian Navy, sailing vessel INS Mhadei with all women crew, marine commandos (MARCOS), the special force of Indian Navy, mobile columns of ships and submarine, ‘green force’ the fast interceptor crafts run on solar power, along with several other attractions.

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