New Delhi (December 2, 2017): India has kicked off an ambitious project to build six nuclear-powered submarines that is expected to boost the Navy’s overall strike capabilities.
Confirming the launch of the mega project, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba also gave a clear indication that Indian Navy was ready to play a bigger role including under the proposed quadrilateral coalition among India, the US, Australia and Japan.In a press conference on the eve of Navy Day, Admiral Lanba also touched on a range of key issues confronting the Navy including acquisition of a range of submarines, warships and weapons systems, asserting that it was ready to face any traditional and non-traditional threats.
“It has kicked off and I will leave it at that. It is a classified project. The process has started. I will not comment further,” Admiral Lanba said.
“We are all aware of the prevailing security scenario in our maritime domain. The continued presence of both traditional and non-traditional threats in the maritime domain demand constant attention and robust mitigating measures,” he said.He also spoke about possible security challenges in case of presence of Chinese warships in the strategically-important Gwadar port in Pakistan. “It will be a security challenge. We will have to look at it and mitigate,” Lanba said.
“We are negotiating similar pacts with a number of other countries,” he said adding the Navy has activated the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the US by taking fuel at sea from the US three months ago.
The Navy chief said work on Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, IAC 1, is progressing well, adding he was hopeful that the ship would join the Navy by 2020.