During an Indian Navy Commanders conference, the Defence Minister AK Antony revealed that the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov and nuclear submarine INS Arihant will be with the Indian Navy next year. Besides, India has also positioned itself as a natural leader of the Indian Ocean region considering its strategic location and operational capability. Antony added that India will play the lead role in ensuring peace and stability in the region.
While recommending that the Indian Navy must be prepared to meet any eventuality in view of the complex emerging security matrix in the Indian Ocean region, Defence Minister has also indicated that from 2013, the Navy will get five new warships every year which will help in modernising country's naval fleet.
Antony added that the navy is on course to acquire potent platforms to add to its blue water capability. The imminent induction of INS Vikramaditya and INS Arihant along with the MiG-29K combat planes as well as P8-I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft will add teeth to the naval fleet. The naval LCA has also made its successful debut flight and these would strengthen the navy further.
The Indian Defence Ministry has confirmed that Admiral Gorshkov, to be rechristened INS Vikramaditya, is undergoing trials in Russia and is expected to be commissioned into the Navy in December this year. India and Russia had signed a deal in 2004 for the aircraft carrier which will arrive in the country after a delay of four years. The Indian Navy has already received a nuclear submarine INS Chakra which has been leased from Russia.
Speaking at a seminar where Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and other top naval commanders were present, Defence minister Antony stated that the emerging security matrix in the Indian Ocean region is complex due to rising piracy as well as some political developments. Defence Minister added that the importance of security of maritime activity through the sea-lanes in the Indian Ocean for economic prosperity is of paramount importance.
The Defence Ministry has also lauded the Indian Navy’s commitment to indigenization and pointed out the fact that 44 out of 48 ships and submarines, presently on order, are being constructed in India. The state-owned shipyards have also been directed to upgrade infrastructure and technology to keep up with the construction of vessels. Stressing on self-reliance in critical technology, Antony said the Navy and the DRDO need to put in more efforts to meet timelines. This will entail a synergy and active cooperation between the Navy and all other concerned agencies.