Prepared to face both COVID-19, Chinese challenge on LAC: Navy Chief Karambir Singh

Vastavam web: Having deployed major assets such as the P-8I on the China border during the ongoing conflict, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Thursday said his force was prepared to face the dual challenges from Covid-19 and China. Addressing a press conference on the eve of Navy Day, he said that the Navy has been working in synergy and coordination with the Army and the Air Force to tackle the Chinese challenge on the LAC. He said the force has a standard operating procedure (SOP) in case there is any infringement in the Indian Ocean region by the Chinese research or other maritime ceases operating there.

“We have deployed the P-8I aircraft at various locations on the requirement of Army and Indian Air Force. In addition, we have deployed the Heron surveillance drones on the northern borders,” he said. “As of now, three Chinese warships are in the Indian Ocean region. The Chinese have been maintaining three ships since 2008 for anti-piracy patrols,” he added. He also said that 41 of the 43 warships and submarines will be built for the Navy in the future and that all will be made in India including the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier.

“Indian Navy is procuring Smash-2000 rifles as anti-drone equipment to protect against attacking drones. Acquisition of 30 Predator drones for the three services is on and those drones would be much more capable,” Singh said. Aligned with Prime Minister vision of Sagar, the Navy participated in the 13 bilateral and multi-lateral exercise this year. Under the mission ‘Malabar’ the US, Japanese and Australian Navies have contributed in enhancing cooperation and trust. As part of the government vision of ‘neighbourhood first’ the Indian navy undertook the joint surveillances with Maldives and Mauritius as well as coordinative patrols with Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia.