Nearly a fortnight after he admitted that China’s Navy is “much larger” than that with India, Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta on day downplayed the significance of his remarks saying “larger does not mean better.”
“Instead of taking one line, look at the full thing. The context in which I had said was ‘Yes´ they (China) have much larger Navy. Larger does not mean it is better,” Admiral Mehta said on board ‘INS Tabar’ here.
“It’s not like they have 10 ships and I will have 10 ships. May be I have ships which can do a better job than someone else’s. So, I had said that we need to get smarter, rather than working up on increasing the strength and numbers to match with some one,” said Mehta, who retires this month.
At a public function in New Delhi on August 10, Mehta had said India had neither the capability nor the intention to match China force for force.
On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement that there was a terror threat to India, Mehta said, “No doubt, coast is vulnerable. Adequate measures have been taken to ensure safety.”
In the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attack, a joint operation centre has been set up in the metropolis, the Naval chief said.
“The centre has got representatives working in the maritime domain. It also includes Coast Guard, Customs and police officials.”
“We will soon have a big aircraft for maritime domain awareness in Indian Ocean,” he said, adding “a network centric operation for better co-ordination and to obtain updated information will be set up soon. It would help to tackle any threat.”