Indian Navy undertaking major plans to expand its global reach

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, KUNA

New Delhi : The Indian Navy has drawn up a major plan to expand its reach and add more teeth to its firepower with changing global needs.

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“With Indias rising stature and enhancement in navys maritime needs, the force wants to acquire state-of-the-art technology,” an official of the Indian Defense Ministry told KUNA on Sunday.

India’s first indigenously developed nuclear submarine would be ready by 2009. “We also hope to get a Russian Akula-class nuclear submarine, on long-term lease, to train our personnel,” the official added.

The nuclear submarine is being developed by Indias Defence Research and Development Organisation. Indian scientists have already succeeded in miniaturising the nuclear reactor for the vessel.

“In Indias credible minimum nuclear deterrent plans, the induction of nuclear weapons under sea constitutes the third triad,” the official added.

“The Navy will soon float a long-delayed global tender for maritime reconnaissance aircraft. It also wants to acquire a rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle to enhance its maritime surveillance capabilities,” the official added.

The Indian Navy has to safeguard the country’s 7,516 kilometer-long coastline, 1,197 island territories and the exclusive economic zone is spread over 2.01 million sq km. “The Navy has launched a maritime military bloc comprising littoral states of the Indian Ocean and the response has been overwhelming,” he said.

The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) foundation meeting will be held here from February 14-18. More than 20 countries are likely to participate in the meet.

IONS would be conducted in two sessions, with the first two days devoted to a seminar which would discuss the maritime scenario in the Indian Ocean Region and the contemporary maritime challenges. The next three days would be witness a closed-door meeting of Naval chiefs of the participating countries.