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Indian assets deployed in Arabian Sea, won't allow instability: Navy Chief

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Navy has its assets deployed along the western coast to protect India's maritime interests and will not allow any "instability", Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar said on Thursday.

On the situation in the Arabian Sea and Red Sea area, the Navy Chief said Indian assets are already deployed in the area for two anti-piracy operations. He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the fourth edition of the Global Artificial Intelligence Summit in New Delhi.

"We are deployed to ensure that our national interest in the maritime domain is protected. We have our own deployments. We have two ongoing anti-piracy operations there and anti-drone support for merchant shipping," the Navy Chief said.

The remarks came amid increasing global concerns over Houthi militants targeting various cargo vessels in the Red Sea against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

"The job of the Navy is to ensure that we preserve, protect and pursue our national interest in the maritime domain. That is what we are doing. Anti-piracy operations have been going on since 2008. We have deployed more than 106 ships since then on a continuous basis," he said.

"Operation Sankalp is happening close to the Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman. We had witnessed that till last year, piracy had reduced almost to zero. But subsequently, we saw a resurgence... We have deployed an adequate number of assets. We are not going to allow any piracy to happen," Kumar said.

He added that no attacks have happened on Indian merchant ships.

"Whatever disturbance is happening, there has been no attack on any Indian-flagged merchant vessel. Last time they attempted piracy attack on a ship with a high number of Indian crew, our assets were deployed immediately, (and) we responded," the Admiral said.

"Our message is that we are not going to permit any instability or insecurity happening," he added.

Talking about artificial intelligence, Admiral Kumar said the Indian Navy is researching the use of AI for operational as well as other purposes. Several projects are going on.

"AI requires a lot of new technologies and machines. All that will create new jobs, new specialisation and re-skilling of people will happen," he said.

"We have a centre for excellence for data analytics... We have also set up an incubation centre called the Indian Navy Incubation Centre for AI which is in Bengaluru... We are working on more than 30 projects based on the use of Navy, largely for operational requirements, and then for logistics, administrative, maintenance as well," he said.

"We also have the IDex and NIIO Navy Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation. Under IDEX, about 14 contracts have been signed with startups for AI projects," Admiral Kumar said.

He was talking to reporters after inaugurating the Global Artificial Intelligence Summit at the Manekshaw Centre in Delhi.

"With remarkable strides in technology and innovation, AI stands as a tool that is poised to shape Bharat's trajectory during the Kartavya Kaal...

"Today, we are witnessing the vibrant spirit of AI. In this context, it is befitting to harness our capabilities and ascend as a prominent global leader in the realm of AI," the Navy Chief said.

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