Indian Navy fleet to grow to 160-plus by 2022

August 9th, 2008 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) The Indian Navy aims to expand its fleet to more than 160 ships, the majority of them indigenously-built, by 2022, navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta has said. Delivering a talk on the Future Vision of the Indian Navy here Friday, Mehta said the Indian shipbuilding industry has a very sound base and most of the future platforms will be built in the country.

“We have great ambitions in warship building. Currently 38 vessels, including one aircraft carrier, three frigates, six submarines, one landing ship, and four anti-submarine vessels are under development,” Mehta said.

“Induction of new aircraft including MiG-29K fighters, maritime reconnaissance aircraft, airborne early warning and control systems (AWACs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is in the offing,” he said.

Seeking policies that favour indigenous shipbuilding, the navy chief underlined that the country’s indigenous ships are small by global standards and that only 10 percent of ships owned by India are Indian-built.

“By 2022 the Indian navy will have a fleet of 160-plus ships, three aircraft carriers and 400 aircraft of different types. Extensive satellite surveillance and networking will be there,” Mehta added.

Currently India has only one aircraft carrier - INS Viraat.

Besides, the navy is looking forward to a greater network centricity to keep track of all the vessels in the fleet and can be instrumental in faster deployment of platforms.

The navy chief also called for greater engagement of regional and extra-regional navies and space-based surveillance of the maritime battle space.

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