During his third press conference, on the eve of the Navy Day, Admiral Sunil Lanba presented a broad overview of the Indian Navy’s major operational activities over the past year, and also highlighted Indian Navy’s future plans. He stated, “As we surge ahead in the 21st century, the attention of the entire world is focused on the Indian Ocean Region, where our Navy is increasingly seen as a ‘net security provider’. The maritime dimension of India’s security and its importance to national development and economic prosperity is well recognised today and has been articulated at the highest levels by our leadership. Accordingly, our maritime security strategy is aimed at providing a maritime environment that is free from all forms of traditional and non-traditional threats to our national development.”
This statement defines the role of the Indian Navy for national security as well as economic development in very clear terms. Some achievements of the Navy are highlighted which clearly indicate that it is on the right path to achieve its stated goals. The first aspects is that the Navy has successfully completed the first deterrence patrol of INS Arihant this year which is the most survivable segment of the country’s nuclear triad. Second aspect is that during 2017, the Navy had undertaken a major review of its operational deployment philosophy based on the prevalent security threats and challenges. As a result of the review, the deployment philosophy has been recalibrated. The last major aspect is that the Navy has been most successful in countering the menace of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and elsewhere. Statistics indicate that the Indian Navy has thwarted 44 piracy attempts and apprehended 120 pirates.
There was an exclusive interaction between Admiral Sunil Lanba and Jayant Baranwal, Editor-in-Chief of SP’s Naval Forces and Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay, Senior Editorial Adviser, SP’s Naval Forces. In one of the key questions asked by Jayant Baranwal on the progress of Strategic Partnership (SP), Chief of the Naval Staff replied that it is true that SP Model has taken time to fructify due to several complex issues. However, the SP as a model now stands approved by the Government. For the Indian Navy, Letter of Acceptance (LoA) for 111 Naval Utility Helicopter has been issued and approval from Defence Acquisition Council has been accorded. Likewise, LoA for six conventional submarines under SP Model has also been issued for Project 75(I). There was also a similar interaction with the CNS on December 3. Read all about it in this issue.
Indian Navy’s foot print is expanding with Indian Naval ships patrolling the far reaches of the Indian Ocean and connected regions. Read all about it in an article on the subject. Then there is an article on Navy’s sea power, write ups on Exercises Simbex, Konkan and Indra; and report on MAST INDO-ASIA 2018. This issue just about wraps up with the usual News Digest and Flag Postings.
Wish you all discerning readers merry Christmas and a very happy and glorious 2019.