Source : Deccan Herald
New Delhi: Aiming to further consolidate its footprints across the Indian Ocean region, the Indian Navy plans to turn into a force with 175 warships including more lethal new-age destroyers by the next decade, top officials said here on Friday.
The multi-role destroyers of the future will have a displacement of over 10,000 tonnes and may take another five to ten years for delivery once construction begins. They will have advanced weapons compared to the latest Visakhapatnam-class destroyers.
“We are looking at 170-175 ships by 2035. Currently, 67 ships are under construction of which 65 are in Indian shipyards,” Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar said in his annual press conference ahead of the Navy Day.
India to become 175-warship Navy with bigger 10k tonnes destroyers in the next decade, says Indian Navy Chief
The new destroyers are on the drawing board and it may take another five years before the steel-cutting begins.
“Once the yards start building the warships, it may take five-ten years to deliver these weapons to the Navy as the capability of Indian shipyards have improved,” said Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh.
The upcoming ships will incorporate more indigenous components compared to the latest P-15B ships, which have 75% indigenous content.
Asked about Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean, Admiral Hari Kumar said that at any point in time, there were six to eight PLA Navy ships along with a large number of fishing vessels and research ships, and added that the Indian Navy was monitoring their actions.
“Our ships, submarines, and aircraft have sustained a high operational tempo, undertaking missions and tasks encompassing military, diplomatic, constabulary and benign roles,” he said. “Our units are mission-deployed across the Indian Ocean Region and beyond, to protect and promote our national interests.”
Oceans being a common heritage, China may have a legitimate reason to be in the Indian Ocean, but as the resident naval power, India has kept its eyes on all activities in the region and put extra-regional forces under surveillance.
Discussing the long-awaited indigenous twin-engine deck-based fighter aircraft, the Navy chief expressed expectations of receiving these combat jets from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd by 2032, replacing the current MiG-29Ks on the two aircraft carriers.