Kolkata, Dec 3 (PTI) Snooping by Chinese naval ships in the Indian Ocean has increased over the last few years, but the Indian Navy has been able to keep effective surveillance over such activities, Naval Officer-in-charge, Bengal Area, Commodore Suprobho De said here on Tuesday.
He said the Indian Ocean has some choke points which help the Navy in keeping an eye on the activities in the region, including the Bay of Bengal.
'With the P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft in service, we can keep an eye on activities over the Indian Ocean,' De told newspersons here on the eve of the Navy Day.
India at present operates eight P-8I long-range sea patrol aircraft and the Navy has placed an order for an additional four planes from the manufacturer, Boeing.
The boost to the Indian fleet will come at a time when the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is seen increasing its footprints in the Indian Ocean.
By 2021, India will have a 198-ship navy, which now has 131 ships of various makes, De said.
He said a number of warships, including destroyers, corvettes and an aircraft carrier are under various stages of construction at Defence PSU shipbuilders, including the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) here.
The naval officer-in-charge said though West Bengal has only around 160 km-long coastline, there are 73 landing points.
The difficult riverine Sunderbans in the region is used by smugglers, anti-nationals and traffickers, he said.
De said the Navy keeps surveillance in the area to keep a tab on such activities and coordinate with the BSF, Coast Guard and the state police. PTI AMR NN NN