FAQ

Q 1. What are the current Force Levels of the Indian Navy? What are the ongoing projects? What steps are being undertaken by the Indian Navy to augment its strength?

Ans. The Indian Navy’s present force level comprises about 150 ships and submarines. The Indian Navy’s perspective-planning in terms of ‘force-levels’ is now driven by a conceptual shift from ‘numbers’ of platforms - that is, from the old ‘bean-counting’ philosophy—to one that concentrates upon ‘capabilities’. In terms of force accretions in the immediate future, we are acquiring ships in accordance with the Navy’s current Maritime Capability Perspective Plan.

ONGOING PROJECTS

There are presently more than 50 ships and submarines under construction. Our preferred choice of inducting ships has been through the indigenous route. For instance, the GRSE has already delivered all three of the large amphibious ships and ten water-jet Fast Attack Craft. The yard is presently constructing advanced Anti-submarine Corvettes and has been recently awarded a contract to build LCUs.

In the South, Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) is progressing the construction of our most ambitious ship yet – the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier.

At Mumbai, our premier warship-building yard Mazagon Docks Ltd, is engaged in the construction of Kolkata Class and P-15B destroyers besides stealth frigate of the Shivalik Class. Submarines of the Scorpene Class are also under construction at MDL.

Goa Shipyard Limited, which has built a number of Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Navy and the Coast Guard, has advanced versions of this type under construction.

ENGAGING THE PRIVATE SECTOR

Over the years, the Indian Navy has taken a conscious decision to encourage other shipyards, including private yards, to enter the specialised field of warship-construction. The response has been encouraging. Contracts have been concluded with M/s Pipavav Shipyard Ltd and ABG Shipyard for construction of a few NOPVs and a couple of Cadet Training Ships, respectively.

BRIDGING THE GAP

The indigenous warships construction has come a long way since the commissioning of INS Nilgiri on 03 Jun 72. There are not many countries in the world having capability to produce such a wide variety of warships ranging from Fast Attack Craft to Aircraft Carrier. However, few ships are being inducted from abroad also to bridge the gap in the capabilities envisaged in the Master Plan of Navy. These include the carrier Vikramaditya, and follow-on ships of the Talwar Class from Russia.

MID-LIFE UPGRADES

In addition, Mid-Life Upgrades (MLUs) of ships are also being progressed. After their MLU, ships of the Rajput Class as also those of the Brahmaputra Class will emerge as potent 21st Century combatants with significant residual life.

Q 2. Why was the name Arihant chosen for India’s first Nuclear Powered Submarine?

Ans. Arihant is a Sanskrit word meaning the ‘Destroyer of the Enemy’. The name befits the strategic significance of a nuclear powered submarine. Among the many options considered, the name ‘Arihant’ was selected and approved at all levels because of its subtlety and appropriateness in conveying the resolve.

Q 3. What is the Indian Navy expecting from the Indian Industry for future naval platforms?

Ans.The Indian Navy is looking for considerable support from the Indian industry to successfully realize its new ship-building projects. The industry is urged to invest in development of naval equipment meeting the stringent standards, particularly for noise and vibration standards, as these are crucial performance requirements of modern war ships. Modularity of systems, with a standard as well as well-defined minimum interfaces with the ship will be the thrust in the future. This will help the process of ship design and construction to proceed on the basis of the agreed interfaces, while the OEM’s are concurrently developing equipment within the confines of the module. Such an approach will also, to a large extent, accommodate evolutionary designs of state-of-the-art equipment to meet the rising aspirations of the naval staff. Further, given the complexity, magnitude and resource intensive nature of development of new naval systems, a navy-industry relationship founded more on partnership rather than mere customer-supplier relationship would be required. This will give confidence to both parties for sharing the risks of development as well as the benefits of new technology with reduced costs.

Q 4. What is the rationale of constructing a full-fledged naval base at Karwar, when we have two operational bases at Mumbai and Kochi on the West coast of India?

Ans. India has a large coastline of 7516 Kms with 1197 offshore islands and very large Exclusive Economic Zone of 2.01 million sq kms that is rich in resources. Therefore, India requires a strong and modern Navy to protect its varied maritime interests and shoulder additional responsibilities, particularly in the current geo-political and security situation that prevails in the Indian Ocean Region. The two major Naval Bases on the West Coat of India, ie Mumbai and Kochi have already reached their full capacities and cannot be expanded any further. Accordingly, the necessity for a third Naval base on the western seaboard to cater for the planned growth of the Navy.

Q 5. How do you grade Indian Navy today in terms of Operational preparedness?

Ans. The Indian Navy is fully prepared to safeguard the maritime interests of the nation. The country's maritime interests encompass maintenance of the territorial integrity of India against seaward challenges and threats as well as protection of our maritime trade and the merchantmen that embody it. Our coastline today faces significant security challenges from malevolent 'non-state', as well as 'state-sponsored' elements. To safeguard the maritime interests of the nation, the Navy performs four types of roles viz. military, diplomatic, constabulary and benign. For these roles, we have adequate capability and we are also continuously evolving to meet the new challenges posed by non-state actors and the modern day pirates.

Q 6. After 26/11, what steps have been taken to strengthen the intelligence system and surveillance?

Ans. Consequent to the unfortunate events of 26/11, the coastal security has been reviewed at appropriate levels and the Cabinet Committee on Security in their meeting held in Feb 09 has approved certain proposals. The Indian Navy has been designated as the authority responsible for overall maritime security, which includes coastal security and offshore security. The Indian Navy, in this regard, will be assisted by Coast Guard, State Marine Police and other Central and State agencies for the coastal defence of the nation. The other initiatives to strengthen the coastal security are as follows:-

(a) Setting up of Joint Operation Centres (JOCs) at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Port Blair under the charge of the existing Naval C-in-Cs. In case of Port Blair, the JOC is under the charge of CINCAN. The JOCs are jointly manned and operated by the Navy and Coast Guard with inputs from diverse agencies such as Navy, Coast Guard and other Central and State Government agencies dealing with maritime aspects.

(c) Formation of the Sagar Prahari Bal of the Navy comprising 80 Fast Interceptor Craft and 1000 personnel.

(d) Regular conduct of Coastal Security exercises in all States in conjunction with the Coast Guard, State and Central Government agencies.

(e) Enhancement of surface and air surveillance by Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships and aircraft along the coast and in all offshore development areas.

(f) Conduct of awareness drives by the Navy and the Coast Guard to sensitize the fishing and coastal community and coastal/port authorities on issues related to security against threats from the sea.

(g) Setting Up of Coastal Radar Chain and Coastal AIS chain in a time bound manner.

(h) Progress on registering of all vessels and issue of identity cards to all fishermen/coastal population is well underway and is being closely monitored by the MHA.

(j) National Command Control Communications and Intelligence (NC3I) Network is being set up as part of the maritime security measures post 26/11. As an interim measure, hotline connectivity between the IN, ICG and other government authorities involved in coastal security on the Western and Eastern Seaboard have been provisioned.

Q 7. What level of training assistance is being provided by the Navy to the CISF and Marine Police?

Ans. The Navy conducts five courses a year for the personnel of CISF and Marine Police at its training institution at INS Chilka. This course is of two weeks duration. The training is imparted in general seamanship, maintenance and boat handling. In addition, each Command has also undertaken training of Marine Police and Customs personnel on being requested for the same. No request for training has been turned down so far.

Q 8. India is a maritime nation with a long coastline and Maritime Security is responsibility of the Indian Navy. Is the Navy capable to safeguard the maritime interests with the present fleet strength?

Ans. The country's maritime interests encompass maintenance of the territorial integrity of India against all types of seaward challenges and threats as well as protection of our maritime trade and the merchantmen that embody it. The Indian Navy is fully prepared to safeguard the maritime interests of the nation. We have adequate capability and are also continuously evolving to meet the new challenges. Since the security challenges are only bound to increase in the times to come, the Indian Navy’s assets acquisition plan has also been tailored to meet this requirement.

Q 9. What efforts are in place for bringing the complete coastline under radar surveillance?

Ans. Radar stations along the complete coastline of India including that of L& M group of islands and A&N islands are being set up and the project is likely to be completed by end 2012.

Q 10. What short term and long term gains for strategic partnership accrue for the Indian Navy by holding bi-lateral and joint exercises?

Ans. The objectives of exercises with foreign navies are:-

(i) To gain operational and doctrinal expertise.
(ii) Share transformational experiences
(iii) Examine and imbibe 'best-practices'.
(iv) Achieve a high level of inter-operability.
(v) Enhance Maritime Domain Awareness through a variety of information-sharing mechanisms.

We have been able to achieve all the above objectives and also showcase our own professional competence and ship building/operating capabilities. With some of the exercises being conducted overseas, as far away as the Pacific/ Atlantic Ocean, it has also conveyed to the other navies, the reach of the Indian Navy.

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