The image of the Indian Navy has taken a beating because of accidents, but the force remains one of the best in the world, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R.K. Dhowan said.

Speaking at INS Circars here on Wednesday in his maiden media interaction after being elevated to the post of Admiral, he said the Navy had instituted a safety audit to ensure that accidents did not recur.

The personnel and officers were the aan, baan aur shaan (honour and pride) of the Navy and it was the duty of the officers to pay attention to the living conditions of the personnel and keep them happy, he said.

Addressing the Flag and Staff officers and sailors of the Eastern Naval Command here, Admiral Dhowan urged them to work hard and maintain the force combat-ready at all times.

The Indian Navy was committed to indigenisation and 44 ships and submarines were under production at different shipyards in the country.

The first of the four anti-submarine warfare corvettes being built at Garden Reach Shipyard in Kolkata under Project 28 would soon join the fleet of the Eastern Naval Command.

The indigenous nuclear submarine Arihant would go for sea trials soon, the Navy Chief announced but refused to give a timeline.