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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

First indigenous aircraft carrier will be fully operational by 2022, says Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh

Admiral Singh, speaking at an annual press conference, also said that the Navy’s long-term plan is to have three aircraft carriers.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2019 13:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
         

The first indigenous aircraft carrier will be fully operational by 2022, said Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Tuesday.

Admiral Singh, speaking at an annual press conference, also said that the Navy’s long-term plan is to have three aircraft carriers. He asserted that the Navy is fully prepared to deal with national security challenges.

“We are putting our defence and security in place to ensure that threats from terror groups like are thwarted. I want to assure that Navy along with the Coast Guard and other security agencies are ready to face any challenge,” Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

He also revealed that the Navy’s annual budget allocation has come down from 18 per cent to 12 per cent in the last five years. The Navy had earlier said that it might seek additional funds from the government to meet its needs.

In October, Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, vice chief on the Indian Navy, had said the capital expenditure of Rs 23,156 crore earmarked for the navy in the defence budget for 2019-20 isn’t sufficient to meet its requirements. Kumar said that the Navy will seek at least Rs 20,000 crore more for modernisation.

The Navy chief said India is playing a stabilising role in the Indo-Pacific region and no action by any other player in the region should impact New Delhi.

Singh said China has increased its presence in the Indian Ocean and seven to eight Chinese ships are usually present in the region, PTI reported. He said the Chinese ships sometimes carry out mining or anti-piracy operations and asserted that Indian navy keeps a close watch.

When asked about the massive expansion of the Chinese Navy, Singh said “they are moving at the pace they are capable of and we are moving at the place we are capable of”.