The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, said Saturday (18 November) that the Indian Navy is prepared to deploy its assets for evacuation operations in West Asia if the ongoing conflict necessitates such actions.
Speaking at the Synergia Conclave 2023 in Bengaluru, Admiral Kumar assured that units were stationed in key regions such as the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea, ready to provide assistance as needed.
Addressing the situation in Gaza, Admiral Kumar emphasised that the Indian Navy is on standby for potential evacuation requirements. He stated that ships are already deployed, expressing readiness to assist and undertake any tasks assigned by the government.
In terms of India's national maritime security, Admiral Kumar outlined the Navy's responsibilities, stating that they aim to protect, preserve, promote, and pursue national interests.
"Right now, we have adequate resources, we are reasonably well-funded, we got a programme going," he said.
Highlighting the Navy's current strength, he mentioned having a 130-ship Navy with approximately 220 aircraft, along with ongoing construction projects for 67 additional ships and submarines.
Admiral Kumar disclosed that an Acceptance of Necessity (AON) has been granted for an additional 45 ships and submarines.
Looking ahead to 2035, he projected that the Indian Navy would become a 165-170-ship force with more aircraft.
Switching focus to technology, Admiral Kumar discussed the Navy's approach to artificial intelligence (AI), noting that a complete takeover by AI by 2045 seems distant. Instead, the immediate priority is 'manned unmanned teaming.'
“We feel that there has to be a man in the loop, so manned unmanned teaming is being taken forward in a big way," he said.
He highlighted the establishment of an unmanned squadron in Karwar and ongoing work with unmanned air, surface water, and underwater vessels.
Additionally, the Navy is exploring the possibility of unmanned surveillance aircraft operating from aircraft carriers, collaborating with the Royal Navy on this initiative.
In a virtual address, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Anil Chauhan, emphasised the importance of managing differences and resolving disputes to prevent conflicts.
He cited examples such as Afghanistan, Iran, and Ukraine, cautioning against entering conflicts without a clear end state or exit strategy.
General Chauhan underscored the need to address latent disputes to avoid interstate conflicts, citing Azerbaijan, Hamas, Russia, and Ukraine as examples.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.