200-strong Fleet In 10 Years, Asserts Top Naval Officer

The Indian navy will have a fleet of 200 ships by 2027 as part of an expansion and modernisation plan. As of now, 40 ships are being built in the shipyards, flag officer commanding-in-chief of Southern Naval Command vice admiral A R Karve said on Thursday.

He was in the city to deliver a lecture on Indian Maritime Paradigm organised by city-based Indian Maritime Foundation, established by naval veterans.

“Our plan is to grow from the current strength of 145 ships to 200 ships by 2027. This amounts to an investment of nearly Rs 2 lakh crore. Most importantly, the Indian Navy is not importing any ship,” he said.

He added that the Indian Navy has achieved 90% indigenisation in the float segment and 60% and 30% in the propulsion and weapon segments.

Karve, who specialises in anti-submarine warfare, said, “The strategic partnership with domestic private and foreign companies for making hi-tech defence equipment will help the warship building programme which has come a long way since the commissioning of the frigate INS Nilgiri in 1972.”

He said global recession had affected private Indian shipyards. “Other than government shipyards, the private ship building sector is not getting enough orders,” he said. Since 2016, the government has taken initiatives to strengthen the private ship building industry, Karve added. On Sagarmala port development project, Karve said an investment of Rs 7 lakh crore has been made for port modernisation and connectivity.

The Indian Ocean is a crucial economic region with about 150 foreign ships currently operating here. However, there is no “overarching” security as the one in the Atlantic and the Pacific regions, he added.

“Currently, there is no tense situation in the Indian Ocean region but a collective and collaborative effort by all the states is required to deal with diverse challenges of security, right from drug trafficking to piracy,” the vice admiral said.

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