With a view to maintaining combat preparedness, the Indian Navy has set up a task force to network its static and floating assets.
“The networking and the weapon and sensor capability of the Indian Navy is the top priority area, and concrete steps are under way for its implementation from 2005,” Adm. Arun Prakash, service chief, told reporters here Nov. 30 as part of India’s annual Navy Day celebrations.
The Navy also intends to consolidate and strengthen maritime cooperation with Indian Ocean rim countries, Prakash said.
Under this plan, the Navy has agreed to train a large number of naval personnel from Sri Lanka and offered help with refit and maintenance of Sri Lankan ships at Indian dockyards.
Prakash said the Navy plans to extend support and supply of naval hardware and expertise to Myanmar as an initiative of the Indian government’s regional goodwill policy.
Prakash told DefenseNews.com on Nov.30 that with the U.S. decision to supply P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft to Pakistan, the Navy will review its plan for proposed procurement of the same aircraft from the United States.
However, he disclosed that the Indian and U.S. navies likely would sign an agreement to ensure U.S. help for the Indian Navy in the event of a submarine disaster. The Indian Navy presently is upgrading 18 submarines but lacks submarine rescue facilities, Prakash said.
Indian Navy officials here said the service’s three commands, comprising a fleet of 145 warships, are in excellent operational shape.
During 2004, the Navy extended active naval cooperation to the maritime forces of Mozambique, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, patrolling their waters on the international boundary.
The Navy this year also conducted joint naval exercises with the U.S., French, Singaporean and U.K. navies.