Navy focusing on underwater capabilities: ENC chief
By DECCAN CHRONICLE | KMP Patnaik
VISAKHAPATNAM: Indian Navy is enhancing its underwater surveillance capabilities, apart from adding more submarines and anti-submarine warfare vessels, disclosed flag officer commanding-in-chief Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC).
Addressing media aboard INS Jalashwa in Visakhapatnam on Saturday on the eve of Navy Day, the vice admiral underlined that underwater is a challenging domain as only sound and a kind of laser travel in the water.
“We have aircraft and ships fitted with sonars that provide much of the underwater information. Very soon, we will be launching unmanned aircraft fitted with sonar,” he stated.
The ENC chief said Navy is planning to acquire more submarines. Apart from conventional class submarines, it is following up on its only nuclear powered submarine INS Arihant.
Regarding Agnipath, the vice admiral said for the first time in history of Navy, non-commissioned women officers are being inducted. The first batch has begun training at INS Chilka from December 1 and would be completing it in March next year. At present, six women commissioned officers are with the Eastern Naval Command.
“The idea is to have 20 percent women in the Agniveer force,” he maintained.
Speaking on new changes in the offing, the vice admiral said a MIG squadron is being based at INS Dega in Visakhapatnam, as aircraft carrier INS Vikrant will be based in Visakhapatnam from 2024 onwards. Around that time, the Navy Alternative Operational Base at Rambilli will also be commissioned.
He described the year as eventful, saying the 12th edition of Presidential Review had been conducted on February 21 in which 120 ships, submarines and aircraft from Indian Navy, in addition to ships from Coast Guard, Shipping Corporation of India and Ministry of Earth Sciences participated. Soon thereafter, a multinational naval exercise – MILAN- 22 – had been carried out with participation from 39 friendly foreign countries, 13 of them warships and one maritime patrol aircraft.
“These two landmark events have showcased our 'city of destiny' to the entire country as well as to an international audience,’’ the ENC chief declared.
He spoke about how the Indian Navy is moving ahead with indigenisation towards building up its might.
Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan and minister in waiting designated Gudivada Amarnath will receive President Droupadi Murmu at Visakhapatnam on Sunday afternoon. Also present will be AP Assembly Speaker Tammineni Sitaram, Union minister for tourism G. Krishan Reddy, Minister for ports and shipping Sarbananda Sonowal, minister of state for defence Ajay Bhatt and AP health minister Vidadala Rajani.