The first edition of this year's Bi-annual Naval Commander's Conference is scheduled from 8 to 11 May 2018. During the conference, Navy will review its new Mission-Based Deployments philosophy aimed at ensuring peace and stability in the region. The new deployment philosophy, in furtherance of the Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), aims at sustained, peaceful and yet responsive presence of Indian Naval ships in critical areas and choke points.
The Navy's focus over the past year has been on Combat Efficiency and Materiel Readiness, and upkeep of its large fleet of 131 ships and submarines. Various measures taken to improve Combat Efficiency, including the new Transition Cycle for ships for transition from maintenance periods through a training phase and thereon to full scale operations will be examined at the conference.
Measures to ensure safety, continued training, and checks and balances on crew proficiency on-board its frontline warships will also be reviewed. An overhaul of the training standards of units by revamping the 'Ship Operating Standards (SHOPS)' is also underway. The new SHOPS, set to be unveiled shortly, focuses on Role-based training in realistic scenarios and sets standards to be met by units as also targets individual crew proficiency levels.
The Navy has been at the forefront in the absorption and exploitation of cutting-edge technology. Naval Commanders would deliberate upon steps to improve the Teeth-to-Tail ratio and explore niche fields such as Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics. Harnessing cutting-edge technology, specifically those 'Made-in-India', to improve organisational effectiveness and efficiency would be another key focus area of the Commanders.
Indian Navy has been the flag-bearer of the indigenisation and 'Make in India' initiative. 27 ships and submarines are currently under construction in Indian Shipyards, including the first indigenous Aircraft carrier 'Vikrant'. The Navy promulgated the 'Indian Naval Indigenisation Plan 2015-30' which has laid down our plans for the next fifteen years. This allows for Industry to formulate strategies to meet the requirements of the Navy through the new Strategic Partnership Model, notified in May 17, as well as domestic R&D. These initiatives, which are aimed at enhancing indigenous defence industrial capability extending up to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), shall also be discussed.
The Commanders would also deliberate on the optimal utilisation of the Navy's share of the defence budget through prioritising capital acquisitions and modernisation plans to bridge critical capability gaps. The four day conference would culminate on 11th May.
The Naval Commander's Conference would be addressed by the Hon'ble Raksha Mantri during the inaugural session followed by discussions with the officials of Ministry of Defence.