Enhancing India’s naval prowess and boosting tri-services synergy are set to be focus of the Indian Navy’s biannual commanders’ conference onboard the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in the Arabian Sea on Monday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address the top naval commanders at the 40,000 tonne ship that was commissioned into the Navy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last.Built at a cost of around Rs 23,000 crore, INS Vikrant has a sophisticated air defense network and anti-ship missile system and has the capacity to hold 30 fighter jets and helicopters.At the commissioning ceremony of the vessel, Prime Minister Modi called it a “floating city” and that it is a reflection of India becoming self-reliant in defence.
A senior Navy official said the conference will carry its own significance and relevance in view of the prevailing geo-strategic situation in the region. Singh will address the naval commanders onboard the indigenous aircraft carrier as part of the first phase of the conference.The conference serves as a platform for naval commanders to discuss important security issues at the military-strategic level as well as interact with senior government functionaries under an institutionalised framework.”The novelty of this year’s conference lies in the fact that the first phase of the commanders’ conference is being held at sea, and for the first-time, onboard India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant,” the Navy said.
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari will also interact with the naval commanders to address the convergence of the three services vis-à-vis common operational environment.They are also expected to focus on avenues for augmenting tri-services synergy and readiness towards the defence of the nation and India’s national interests.An operational demonstration at sea is also planned as part of the activities on the first day of the conference.
“The Chief of the Naval Staff, along with other naval commanders will review major operational, materiel, logistics, human resource development, training and administrative activities undertaken by the Indian Navy in the last six months and further deliberate upon future plans for important activities and initiatives,” the Navy said in a statement.During the conference, Naval Commanders would also be provided with an update on implementation of the Agnipath scheme.
The first batch of ‘naval Agniveers’, including the first batch of women recruits, under the scheme is scheduled to pass out from INS Chilka in end March.The Navy said the commanders’ conference would be a significant one and that it will delve into the challenges facing India in the maritime domain.”The Navy has witnessed significant growth in its operational tasking over the years in consonance with India’s growing maritime interests,” it said.
“The commanders would also deliberate the Navy’s readiness to address the challenges to our maritime interests,” it said.”The Indian Navy remains focused on being a combat-ready, credible, cohesive and future-proof force and continues to assiduously execute its mandate as the maritime security guarantor of the country,” the Navy said