'INDIGENOUS AIP WILL BE INTEGRATED INTO P75 SUBMARINES BY 2025'
Geopolitics|January 2022
While extensive de-risking trials of the prototype of the indigenous AIP are already underway for establishing the reliability and performance of the niche technology, the Indian Navy is also on a modernisation spree in other dimensions which include refurbishing the Indian Naval Air Arm. As a key player in the QUAD, the Indian Navy has a critical role to play in the region. Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) ADMIRAL R HARI KUMAR outlines his vision and the navy's plans, in this interview with GEOPOLITICS

At a time when the strategic establishment of the country is envisioning theatre commands and integrated battle groups for fighting future wars, how do you see the Indian Navy's role unfolding in this domain?

In the prevailing geopolitical and geo-economic scenario, a secure and stable maritime domain is a prerequisite for unhindered growth of the country. Maritime Security, which includes coastal security, offshore security, anti-piracy, countering threats and inimical forces on the high seas, etc; is a complex issue with intricate challenges. Addressing these vital threats and challenges in the maritime domain necessitate an integrated approach and high levels of synergy in terms of strategy, planning and application of force. The establishment of the Maritime Theatre Command (MTC) would further bolster India's efforts to ensure a safe and secure maritime domain which would be central to furthering growth and prosperity. As the principal manifestation of India's maritime power, the Indian Navy would be at the forefront of such endeavours.

After the signing of various pacts with the US, how has Indian Navy benefitted from these agreements?

Over the last decade, India and US defence relationship has achieved the status of 'Strategic Partnership'. The signing of agreements between the two countries, signify the shared vision of Indo-Pacific and presents greater prospects of cooperation in new domains. The agreements on Logistics Support and Communication compatibility envisages increased interoperability and synergy between both the nations.

The apex level convergence has manifested in robust relations between the Indian Navy and the United States Navy. The two navies have been exercising together for many years with the aim of enhancing peace and stability in the region and learning from each other's experiences. This is founded in the belief that maritime threats today manifest themselves across the globe and are not limited by national boundaries. Countering these threats require likeminded navies to work in close cooperation with each other.

What is being done to refurbish the Indian Naval Air Arm? Is there a requirement for additional MiG-29K fighters?

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