Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

80 new warships to invigorate the Navy in couple of years

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Dec 21, IRNA -- The Navy is all set to get younger with over 80 new warships, including two aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines each, scheduled to join its fleet.

Due to the scheduled inductions in next couple of years, the average age of the fleet would come down making it a comparatively younger force, Navy Spokesperson Commander PVS Satish said on the sidelines of President's Fleet Review (PFR) in Mumbai, pti reported.

'The present average age of the naval fleet is around 12 to 15 years. But by the time the next PFR takes place, the force would be younger by three to four years,' Satish said.

Replying to a query on construction of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), the spokesperson said, 'IAC is scheduled to be launched in few months, probably by early next year. Its induction may take place in next few years, as planned.'

Meanwhile, addressing the officers and sailors of Indian Navy, President Pratibha Patil said, 'The Navy, today, is poised to achieve new milestones with the imminent induction of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, the Kolkata Class stealth destroyers, the follow-on frigates of the Talwar Class, the indigenous ASW Corvettes and an impressive number of submarines and aircraft.'

On induction of indigenous submarines and frigates, she said, 'The launch of the nuclear submarine Arihant, and induction of the indigenously built Shivalik Class frigates are an reflection of the capability of our shipyards and technological competence of our personnel.'

'Today, the Indian Navy is one of the most capable in the region and with its well thought out modernisation plans, is destined to grow even further,' Patil said while addressing Naval officers and personnel onboard INS Subhadra, a naval off shore patrol vessel.

Patil, who was secured by the elite marine commandos (Marcos) and snipers on the ship, wore a Navy cap as she took salute from different class of ships and aircrafts of the Navy during the over two-hour 'Presidential Fleet Review' ceremony.

Patil is the first woman President to have flown in a Sukhoi fighter aircraft, Arjun battle tank and now on Naval warship. President A P J Abdul Kalam during his stint in Rashtrapati Bhavan had also undertaken similar ventures.

A fleet review is conducted once in the tenure of a President to showcase to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and the country, the naval prowess and its strike capabilities.

'Safeguarding of our maritime borders is a major requirement for the social and economic well being of our country. The oil exploration activities off our coasts and at sea are of significant economic importance. Therefore, the protection of our coast our 'sea lines of communications' and the offshore development areas is a major pre-requisite of our nation's development.These are major roles for the Indian Navy,' Patil said in her address.

The President was accompanied by Defence Minister A K Antony, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju, the Maharashtra Governor and the three service chiefs.

'Around 50 to 60 per cent of the naval ships and 60 to 70 per cent of the all the major warships in the Indian Navy participated in today's fleet review. The warships had arrived from all the naval commands including the Andaman and Nicobar-based tri-service command,' Satish said.

The Andaman and Nicobar command was represented by its commander-in-chief Lieutenant General Naresh Marwah and his flag ship INS Kesari.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30723355

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