Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Tuesday said the Navy is planning to have three aircraft carriers. The first indigenous aircraft carrier will be fully operational by 2022, Singh said. Speaking at an annual press conference, Admiral Singh also assured the nation that the Navy is fully prepared to deal with national security challenges. The Navy's long-term plan is to have three aircraft carriers, he said.
The Navy chief also said the first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) will be fully operational by 2022 and will have MiG-29K aircraft. The Navy's annual budget allocation has come down from 18 per cent to 12 per cent in the last five years, he noted.
On the challenges in the neighbourhood, he said no action of any other player in the region should impact us.
"We are ready to work with like-minded nations in the region," he said.
The Navy chief also said India is playing a stabilising role in the Indo-Pacific region.
Asked about the massive expansion of the Chinese Navy, he said they are moving at the pace they are capable of and "we are moving at the place we are capable of".
Speaking about China's increasing presence in the Indian Ocean region, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh said India is keenly watching the process. India is capable of thwarting any threat, Singh said.
Seven to eight Chinese ships are usually present in the Indian Ocean region, Admiral Singh noted.
"China has increased presence in the Indian Ocean since 2008. We are keenly watching them," Karambir Singh said.
"There are Chinese oceanographic research vessels in the exclusive economic zone. On an average, seven to eight vessels are present near this zone. They are here sometimes to carry out mining, sometimes as an anti-piracy squad," said Singh, adding that the Indian Navy carries out whatever prompt action is needed.
Admiral Karambir Singh also stressed that the India Navy is fully aware of Pakistan's intention in the Indian Ocean region.
"We also know about the intelligence input about that terror groups planning to enter India through sea routes. We have put an adequate defence mechanism to thwart any threats," Singh said.