In a strong message to China and its expansionist interests, newly-appointed Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said the Indian Navy is fully confident of defending India's maritime interests and is carrying out the acquisition of platforms to check the possible security challenges facing the country.
Addressing a press conference on the occasion of Navy Day, Admiral R Hari Kumar said the Indian Navy keeps track of China's forays into the Indian Ocean, adding that activities of the neighbouring country are being closely watched.
"We are aware of the development of the Chinese navy building 110 warships in the last few years. Our plans will factor in all the activities and deployments in the Indian Ocean Region. I want to assure you that the Indian Navy is confident of defending India’s maritime interests," Admiral Hari Kumar said.
The Navy chief further noted that the Chinese Navy has been present in Indian Ocean Region since 2008 and they have seven to eight warships here. "There is constant surveillance by our aircraft and ships and their activities are kept under close watch." he asserted.
Admiral Kumar informed that details of the proposed maritime command are being worked out and indicated that its basic structure may come up by next year. The Navy chief also said that work is on expanding the role of women in various spheres of the Indian Navy's overall functioning. He said COVID-19 and the situation along the northern borders increased complexities relating to national security. At the same time, he said the Indian Navy is fully ready to deal with any security challenge, he added,
The Navy Chief further described the creation of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) as the biggest reform in the military since Independence, along with the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff. “This enables faster decision-making and fewer layers of bureaucracy,’’ he said.
Admiral R Hari Kumar on Tuesday took charge as the new chief of the Indian Navy after incumbent Admiral Karambir Singh retired from service. Admiral Kumar was serving as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command before taking the reins of the force.