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Satisfied with naval fleet, more to be inducted: Indian Navy Chief

Indian naval platforms. Photo: Navy

MUMBAI (PTI): Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba Saturday said he was satisfied with the force's fleet and said more aircraft and submarines would be inducted in the days to come.

The admiral was speaking at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders in Mumbai during the launch of guided missile destroyer ‘Imphal’.

"I am very much satisfied with the fleet we currently have. Whatever ships or aircraft we have, I am satisfied with.

"We have a long-term perspective plan and we're going to induct more and more submarines, aircraft in coming days as part of that plan," Admiral Lanba said.

He said, over the years, due to visionary leadership, the Navy had become a "builder" from a "buyer" and was slated to excel in coming years.

"In the early 60s, the Indian Navy took a conscious decision to be a builder navy and not a buyer navy. A small team of 15 officers was set up. In the meantime, the Navy and the nation invested money in shipyards to build complex warships and submarines," he said.

"Now we have self-sufficient and reliant teams of experts to make aircraft carriers to advanced submarines," he said.

"We are so self-reliant that SAIL is manufacturing the entire steel required to build submarines and warships. Even weapons and sensors are now being made in India. Indigenous content in P15 Bravo is more than 75 per cent," he said.

Lanba informed that indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was undergoing outfitting in Cochin Shipyard and its harbour acceptance were on trial stage.

"Its harbour acceptance are in progress and sea acceptance trial will commence in the later half of this year.

It will be delivered to the Indian Navy by 2021," he said.

When asked about the delivery of previously launched Visakhapatnam (2015) and Mormugao warships (2016) and which are being fitted with equipment in Mazagon Dock, Lanba said the delivery time line of these warships will start in April 2021 and go on till 2024.

He admitted there has been delay in the delivery of these warships launched under the Project P-15 Bravo.

"As far as project (P-15B) is concerned, there has been a delay in the first two ships but Mazagon Dock is going to catch up and the project will be completed as per scheduled time line of 2024," he said.

Admiral Lanba also told the gathering that the Navy was looking forward to the delivery of the second Scorpene submarine and it will be commissioned within one month of delivery.

Explaining the reason behind naming the guided missile destroyer ‘Imphal’, Lanba said it was so named as the battle of 'Imphal and Kohima would complete 75 years this year.

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