Top navy admirals meet: weapons readiness, Ukraine on agenda - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 25 April 2022

Top navy admirals meet: weapons readiness, Ukraine on agenda


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 26th Apr 22

The first Naval Commanders' Conference of 2022 commenced on Monday, with the Indian Navy’s top operational and area commanders gathered to review operations,  logistics, human resource development, training and administrative activities. 


With the navy involved through the year on bilateral and multilateral exercises with the world’s best-equipped and well-trained forces, such as the US Navy, it is widely regarded as the most operationally effective of India’s three services.

 “The conference will focus on addressing contemporary security paradigms while seeking ways to enhance the combat capability of the Navy and make operations more effective and efficient,” said the Ministry of Defence (MoD).


“The conference would also dwell upon dynamics of the geostrategic situation of the region in the backdrop of recent international developments,” said the MoD, apparently referring to the Russian-Ukraine conflict that has unexpectedly disrupted India’s acquisition of warships from Russia and gas turbines from Ukraine.


The naval commanders were shown videos of weapons engagement and missile firing drills that had been carried out in the Arabian Sea during the preceding fortnight.


“The multiple ‘ordnance on target missions’ were carried out by 15 submarines, warships and many of the navy’s airborne assets – maritime patrol aircraft, integral helicopters, fighter aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA),” said the MoD. 

It announced today that these missile firings validated the combat worthiness of weapon systems deployed on the [navy’s] frontline units. 


“These included the Indian Navy’s potent Veer-class corvettes (and) Talwar-class and Brahmaputra-class (frigates), carrying out anti-air engagements against high speed, sea-skimming, air targets in tactical scenarios,” stated the MoD 


In another spectacular, long range, engagement a Brahmaputra-class frigate struck and sank its target – a decommissioned naval warship – using an anti-ship missile in a sea skimming profile. In the test, an underwater-launched-missile fired from a submarine, successfully struck its target at maximum range, proving the lethality and versatility of Indian submarines.


The biannual conference, which is also held by the army and air force in turn, provides an institutional platform for top military commanders to meet senior government officials to discuss important operational at the military-strategic level.

The Indian Navy’s standing as the “Preferred Security Partner” to regional navies has grown in recent times, along with its outreach to regional navies. In 2020-21, Indian warships undertook multiple Covid-19-related outreach missions to provide food and medical aid to littoral nations.

Over the next three days, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will address the naval commanders and interact with them on national security issues and regional diplomacy. 


The conference will continue through Thursday in the navy’s new, high-tech Defence Offices Complex in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the facility in September 2021 as part of the Central Vista project in New Delhi.

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