New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday asked the Navy to remain “ever ready” to counter any challenge in the wake of recent developments in India’s neighborhood, seen as a clear reference to China’s growing maritime presence in the critical sea lanes.
In an address at the on-going Navy commanders’ conference, she also took note of the critical capability shortfalls the Navy was facing in ship-borne multi-role helicopters, conventional submarines, and minesweepers which are required urgently to maintain its combat edge.
The minister assured the commanders that these issues were being given due impetus and efforts were in hand to mitigate these shortcomings at the earliest, Navy Spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said.
He said the commanders also reviewed the Navy’s readiness to deploy over the entire range of missions in the maritime domain. In her address, Sitharaman talked about the challenges India was facing in the maritime domain and complimented the Navy for its high operational readiness.
“Taking note of the recent developments in our maritime neighbourhood, she emphasised the need for the Indian Navy to be strong at sea, and be ever ready and vigilant to counter any challenges in the maritime domain,” Capt Sharma said.