The Indian Navy will “certainly” ask for more money from the government, and demand that its share in the total defence budget be increased, Vice-Chief of Navy Staff Vice-Admiral G Ashok Kumar said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters at a curtain raiser event for three Navy projects, he said it was a challenge to meet “our aspirations with the available budget”.
“Our endeavour is to ask for a higher share of capital budget within the defence services budget, which has also dropped in the last six-seven years,” Vice-Admiral Kumar said. He pointed out that from a share of 18 per cent of the total defence budget in 2012- 2013, the Navy’s share has come down to 13.66 per cent. It is the Navy’s aim, he said, to “constantly convince” the government to “to enhance the Navy’s budget within this budget”.
He said that naval projects last for about a decade, “so the expenditure is spread over 10 to 12 years”. This is why it is “a complex calculation for us to undertake to even determine how much is the amount that we want to seek”.
About the three projects, the Vice-Admiral said that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Mumbai on September 28 for the “three landmark events”. Commissioning of the second P-75 submarine to be named ‘Khanderi’, Scorpene-class submarine with the ability to attack torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles, underwater or on the surface, has been delayed. However, the Navy said “all issues related to Khanderi have been resolved and there are no major lacunae” about the Rs-25,000 project.
Launch of first of the P-17A ships, called ‘Nilgiri’, as a follow-on to the first ever frigate which was built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders in early 70’s and P17A is the follow-on of Shivalik class, Vice-Admiral Kumar said.
The third event will be commissioning of the Aircraft Carrier Drydock. This drydock, he said, “capable of docking the largest ship we have, the Vikramaditya”, will “enhance our ability to maintain and support ship for decades to come”. It has an approved budget of Rs 1,320 crore.