In a key development, the Government of India on Tuesday designated Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar as the country's next Chief of the Naval Staff. Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, who is presently serving as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command, will take over as the Chief of the Naval Staff from November 30, 2021. On the same day, Admiral Karambir Singh, who is the incumbent Naval Chief is retiring.
With the eyes of the world on the Indian Ocean and given India’s objective of being a net security provider in the region, Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar will be exposed to many new responsibilities as well as challenges as the new Navy chief. At a time when the Indian Navy is moving towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat as part of 75 years of Indian Independence, Admiral R. Hari Kumar will be seen at a variety of command especially those of the Project – 75, which includes construction of six submarines of Scorpene design. The fourth submarine of Project 75- 'Vela' was delivered to the Indian Navy on November 9. The submarine would soon be commissioned into the Indian Navy .Also, India's first idigenous aircraft carrier- Vikrant is also to be commissioned in the Indian Navy on by August, 2022.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar was commissioned in the Navy on January 1, 1983. During his long and distinguished service spanning nearly 39 years, R. Hari Kumar has served in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar’s Sea Command includes INS Nishank, Missile Corvette, INS Kora and Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvir. He also commanded Indian Navy’s Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat.
Before taking over as FOC-in-C Western Naval Command, he was Chief of Integrated Staff Committee of HQ IDS.
Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar has undergone courses at the Naval War College, US, Army War College, Mhow and Royal College of Defence Studies, UK. Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar has been decorated with the Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM), the Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) and Vishist Seva Medal(VSM).