By 2012 Indian Navy has to replace many of its ships and submarines that have been inducted during the early and mid 1980s but need not depend much on foreign shipyards as the Indian yards could meet the demand and only more shipyards might be needed, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command Anup Singh said here on Thursday.

The demand and supply are at par as Indian Navy has ordered 40 ships and submarines during the 11th and 12th plans and 34 of the vessels would be built in the Indian yards.

Vice-Admiral Anup Singh noted that the self reliance and indigenousness of the Indian Navy was best in Navy among the armed forces. Building a naval ship or submarine was the most expensive and has the longest gestation period among the armed forces and it would take about eight years a project to be completed. However, efforts were being made to meet the standards of western and South Korean yards and reduce the time to five years, he said.

The Indian yards are able to produce large ships for Navy and the Hindustan Shipyard here, after it is handed over to the Defence Ministry, would be able to construct ships and submarines.

Future plans

The Navy has submitted its plans to the Government to provide more infrastructure, changes to be made in the shop floor plan and other modifications in the yard, Vice-Admiral Anup Singh said.

Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya would be ready during 2012. The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov is being extensively refitted. The entire machinery is being refitted and the nearly 2,000 km long cables would be replaced.

The prototypes of light combat aircraft Tejas were being planned to suit their operation from aircraft carrier.

On the protection of coast, the ENC Chief said that the Navy had conducted joint coastal security exercises with the coastal States this year and was ready to provide training to the marine police forces of the maritime States. He observed that the marine police wings in the State have not evolved yet, might be due to lack of required number of personnel with training and speed boats and other required infrastructure.

“It is better if the new recruits of a police force are taken into the marine police wings of the States as the marine policemen need special training and must get used to the sea” Vice-Admiral Anup Singh felt.

Orissa showed the initiative in providing training for its marine police wing, by asking details of retired Navy and Coast Guard personnel and recently Andhra Pradesh was making inquiries about these personnel, he said.

The ENC chief also said that maritime cooperation among navies of different countries would be beneficial in times of major natural calamities, elimination of sea piracy.

The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium held here in 2008 provided a significant lead for the littoral States in this regard.

Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet P. Murugesan, Chief of Staff of ENC K.B. Singh, Admiral Superintendent of Naval Dockyard Raman Prabhat, Flag Officer Submarines Michael T. Moraes and Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet A.V. Subhedar were present at the press conference.