Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said the footprint of the force is
increasing in the seas around the country and that it is ready for any
"Over the years our footprint has been increasing (in Indian Ocean).
We have increased our deployment. We have a ship that is permanently stationed
in the Gulf of Eden and the ship of the western fleet has just done a foray
into Mediterranean and gone all the way into Atlantic," Lanba told
Naval chief's statement assumes significance in the light of increased Chinese
naval presence in the Indian Ocean area including construction of ports in Sri
Lanka and Pakistan.
The Navy chief reviewed the passing out parade of the National Defence Academy
(NDA) held here on May 30.
He said ships from the eastern fleet were in Singapore and they carried out
an exercise with the Singapore Navy in the South China Sea.
"They are en route to Australia, where they are going to exercise with
the Australian Navy. So you see Indian Navy is deployed from the Pacific to the
Atlantic and this what we are going to do," he said.
Asked about increase in presence of Chinese ships in the Indian Ocean and
militancy from Pakistan and how the Navy is prepared to tackle another 26/11
like attack, Lanba said, "We are ready for any contingency and whatever
decision government takes, we will fulfill our task."
On modernisation of Indian Navy, he said the Navy has been a pioneer in
'Make In India' initiative.
"Way back in the early 60s, we took a call that we are going to be a
'builders Navy than buyers Navy'. We built over 200 ships since the early 60s
in the Indian shipyards and at the moment we have 41 ships and submarines, all
are under construction in defence and private shipyards and new assets are
being inducted into the Navy," he said.
"We will have capable and effective Navy which can operate in all the
dimensions," asserted the Navy chief.
Asked about the status of INS Viraat, he said Viraat has been
decommissioned and she has been de-stored.
"At the moment, we have not got a concrete proposal of converting her
(Viraat) into a museum. We will take a call on what is to be done with
her," he said.
Speaking about the integrated command, he said it has been recommended.
"The committee report has been submitted to the government and they are
examining it. We are going forward with jointness and integration with a slow
and steady step forward," he said.
During his address to the graduating cadets, Admiral Lanba
said,"Cherish the true spirit of jointness that has been instilled in all
of you at the NDA. Remember, no single service can win a war on its own."