Amid Chinese aggression at the LAC as well as at sea, a top officer said on Thursday the Indian Navy played an important role in “deterring” the naval forces of the People’s Liberation Army in order to send a strong message.
“..the Navy did portray its deterrent capability at sea. The Navy is a silent service and once you sail over the horizon, nobody knows what happens, except those who have communication systems on the ships. The Navy played an important role in deterring the PLA (Navy) at that time and the message has gone across to them very unambiguously that they cannot mess with us either at sea or on land,” Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, told reporters onboard INS Shardul on the occasion of Navy Week this year.
He said the situation had given impetus to the Navy to concentrate on building its strengths such as force levels, human resources, operational capabilities and partnerships.
The Vice Admiral also said INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier currently under construction at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), was expected to be commissioned late next year or early 2022.
Sea trials of the aircraft carrier are planned in the first half of next year followed by trial flight operations in the second half before its commissioning, Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla said.
Earlier this week, basin trials of the aircraft carrier were successfully conducted at CSL. As part of basin trials, the ship machinery and equipment is examined in floating conditions before the commencement of trials at sea. Upon commissioning, the aircraft carrier will have the capacity to accommodate up to 30 fighter aircraft and choppers.
The Navy plans to celebrate 2021 as ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ as part of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the victory in the 1971 war.
Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh also said his force was alive to various threats in the maritime domain, including from China, and was fully ready to deal with them. India and China are locked in a border row in eastern Ladakh for nearly seven months.
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