Indian warships were deployed at forward positions during the border clashes with China at the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, said Indian Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar on Friday, pointing out that the security situation at the northern borders has added to the challenges India faces.
Admiral Kumar asserted that the Indian Navy is fully confident of defending India’s maritime interests and is carrying out the acquisition of platforms considering the possible security challenges before the country.
He said that the Indian Navy has been keeping an eye on the presence of China’s People’s Liberation Army (Navy) in the Indian Ocean since 2007.
Sharing details of the Chinese warships’ presence in the Indian Ocean Region, Admiral Kumar said that on an average there are seven Chinese PLA Navy ships. They also send their submarines sometimes.
“We are aware about their (Chinese) ships deployment. We also plan our strategy keeping everything in mind,” said Admiral Kumar adding, “We have kept Chinese ships under close surveillance, and we continue to do that even now.”
He was addressing the media ahead of the Indian Navy Day on December 4.
Speaking about the Chinese Navy’s strength, the Admiral said they have constructed 180 ships in the last 10 years.
Talking about the Indian Navy’s strength, he said the Indian Navy has evolved from 33 ships to “where we are today. We develop our capability based on our maritime interests not what others are doing.”
He added that a total of 39 warships and submarines are being constructed and 37 of them are being built in Indian shipyards.
Detailing about the ships’ induction into the fleet, he said in the last seven years 28 ships were commissioned.
Talking about unmanned systems, Admiral Kumar said: “We have a ten-year road map with a plan to have indigenous unmanned airborne, underwater and autonomous systems.”
He appreciated the government’s decision to create a Department of Military Affairs, saying, “The creation of the Department of Military Affairs is the biggest reform in the military since independence along with the creation of the post of CDS. This enables faster decision-making and fewer layers of bureaucracy.”
India and China are engaged in border disputes for the last 19 months.