Allaying fears of China’s increasing presence in the Indian ocean, Admiral Sunil Lanba, chief of Naval Staff, has said that India is capable of not only protecting its interests but also that of its partners in the region.
Admiral Lanba who is also the chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, said this on the sidelines of the Combined Graduation Parade at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal here on Saturday.
“Indian ocean is a too big for China or even USA to capture. But we have our partners, cooperation and methods in place and you (media) are over blowing up the presence of China in Indian Ocean. At any given time, there are only four or five warships and three to four research vessels of China in Indian Ocean,” he said.
Elaborating on Indian Navy’s dominance in the region, he said India’s is the largest navy in the Indian Ocean.
“We have plans to be the net security provider to island nations in Indian Ocean. We are working closely working with our partners, he said.
“India has been safeguarding exclusive economic zones and have been providing security to island nations,” he added.
“We have our forces in combat readiness and we are capable of meeting any threat, external or internal, and we work towards that. However a war tomorrow is unlikely,” the Admiral said, answering a query.
However he refused to answer a question on the base on Assumption island in Seychelles.
Elaborating on plans of strengthening the Indian navy, he said the Naval Air Wing, which has only 238 aircraft currently, will grow to 500 aircraft within a decade.
Clarifying on the issue of arming the newly inducted Kalvari-class submarines with black shark torpedos, he said the acquisition has been dropped and acquisition of a new class of torpedoes has been taken up.
“In the meantime, the Kalvari class is armed with torpedoes of our inventory and missiles are on board” he said.
‘No gender bias’ ::
Pointing out that Indian Navy has no gender bias, Admiral Lanba said that the navy would consider allowing Sabi Giri, who had a sex change operation, to work if a private entity appoints him as a contract worker.
“He was inducted as a male in the navy. There is no provision for the sex change operation that he has gone and done. So he was dismissed,” he said.
By: Deccan Herald
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