Indian Navy competent enough deal with any challenges in IOR: Admiral Sunil Lamba

Report by: 
Port Blair
8 Mar 2018

As a part of the MILAN-18, celebration of congregation of navies of 16 friendly countries at Port Blair, a press conference addressed by the Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy, Admiral Sunil Lamba was organized on board IN Kesari today. Admiral Lamba said that the Indian Navy accords a high priority to our engagement with friendly foreign navies through multilateral dialogue and partnership initiatives. Ships, aircraft and personnel of the Indian Navy regularly participate in bilateral as well as multilateral exercises with several navies across the world. MILAN happens to be a similar opportunity to nurture bonhomie with India's maritime partners, he said.
“In addition to these endeavours, the Indian Navy continues to be at the forefront of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief efforts in the Indian Ocean Region and beyond, the CNS said. He said MILAN  was  initiated in 1995 as a biennial event of the Indian Ocean region with the objective of promoting professional and social interactions between the participating navies. Over the years, MILAN has gained firm footing and enables constructive dialogues between navies of the region. The participation and scope of activities connected with MILAN have evolved in keeping with India's growing engagement with its maritime neighbours.”
The first edition saw participation by four nations. For this edition we are proud to host ships and delegates from 16 countries, Admiral Lamba said. He also added that the Maritime seminar on the theme - "In pursuit of Maritime good order: Need for comprehensive information sharing apparatus” which was conducted yesterday as a part of MILAN -18 , would substantially bolster the discourse of information sharing among maritime nations. India has operationalised white Shipping Information Exchange agreements with nine countries and is working to have similar agreements with several other countries, the CNS further said. He also informed that an Exercise at sea named as MILES will be conducted over three days at sea from 11 to 13 March. It would involve working with the regional partners on core operational skills as well as a variety of maritime security scenarios including Maritime Interdiction Operations and Search and Rescue operations. This is the first time that such an operational exercise at sea is being conducted as part of MILAN and hoped to build on this operational exposure and take this endeavour forward in the future editions, the CNS said. Responding to a query on shortage of Aircraft carriers and submarines with Indian Navy, the CNS said that the navy has in place a long term perspective plan to enhance our capabilities and that an aircraft carrier in under construction and another is being acquired. The strength of Submarines will also be added in a planned manner.
On a question over the earlier announcement of organizing an underwater human chain event as a part of MILAN 18, the CINCAN stated that due to threat of crocodile movements the event it was cancelled. In the due course it would be organized in the Islands, he added,
Responding to the query about the role of A & N Islands in the ‘Act East Policy’ of Govt of India, the CNS pointed that the Andaman & Nicobar  Islands are the gateway to the east and accordingly the Islands provides a base for freedom of navigation and safety to sea lines communications. Hence the strategic importance of the Islands is very high, he said. The CNS pointed that the MILAN exercise is not against any Nation, but is a congregation of friendly navies to interact and an opportunity to learn from each other on operational techniques.
On strengthening of defense power of ANC, Admiral Lamba said that  a ten year plan is already in place to upgrade the infrastructure, expansion of airports to facilitate operation of fighter planes, strengthening of ship fleet and other allied facility like to enhance the capability of the Tri-Service command. Plans to strengthen the force level too by bringing more battalions to the Islands is in the pipeline. On threat due to presence of Chinese ships in Indian Ocean region, the CNS assured the nation that the Indian Navy is capable of providing all support and safety to sea-lines crisscrossing in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and is also capable of handling any possible threats.