Jaitley asks naval commanders to remain prepared

IANS Feeds
Jaitley asks naval commanders to remain prepared

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday urged top commanders of the Indian Navy to be prepared at all times, and spoke on the “situation along the Western border” and its links to internal security.

Jaitley said, “Preparedness is the best deterrent” and also spoke on the “emerging security situation” in the Indian subcontinent and “extra regional powers” in the Indian Ocean region, an official statement said.

Addressing the Naval Commanders’ Conference in the national capital, Jaitley spoke about “the prevailing and emerging security situation in the sub continent as also the expanding presence of the extra regional powers in Indian Ocean Region”.

He also referred to the situation on the Western Border and its linkage to the internal security. He urged the Commanders’ to be prepared at all times as ‘Preparedness is the best deterrent’.”

Acknowledging the different crucial requirements of the Indian Navy, the Defence Minister assured the Commanders that the government is working on all issues “very positively” and is going to increase the resources to make good the shortfalls soon.

He lauded the efforts of the Indian Navy in indigenisation and urged the Commanders’ to focus on furtherance of domestic expertise.

The statement indicated that the Strategic Partnership model that the Defence Ministry is trying to put in place for defence manufacturing, and has been long delayed, may come through soon.

“…Due impetus through appropriate defence procurement policies (such as SP Model which would be finalised soon) is being given to make good the critical capability shortfalls viz. ship-borne Multi Role Helicopters (MRH), conventional submarines and Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs),” the statement said.

Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition Vice Admiral D.M. Deshpande had said recently that the Navy needed submarines to maintain the force level, and the Navy may look for other means to procure submarines if the Strategic Partnership programme does not get implemented.

The four-day conference that started on Tuesday will have Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and top commanders of the Indian Navy deliberating over issues like sustained operational effectiveness, combat readiness and improved maintenance philosophy to carry out its roles and missions.

Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, Defence Secretary A.G. Mohan Kumar and other senior functionaries of the Defence Ministry were also present at the conference on Tuesday.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.