The Maritime Theatre Command — comprising all the naval assets — will come up soon after the unified Air Defence Command is set up, ThePrint has learnt. An ongoing study on the maritime command is currently at an advanced stage, top defence sources said.
The Air Defence Command, responsible for guarding the Indian airspace from hostile air elements, was initially reported to be set up by October. A new date, however, is yet to be formally announced. The study on the Maritime Theatre Command has been under way for the last several months.
A senior defence source told ThePrint that the command is more likely to be headquartered at Karwar in Karnataka. Hyderabad is also under consideration, though, it is learnt.
It will likely be headed by an Indian Navy officer of vice-admiral or admiral rank.
According to defence officials, the Maritime Theatre Command will comprise both the Eastern and Western Naval Commands, with the Andaman and Nicobar Command subsumed into the Eastern Naval Command.
The Andaman and Nicobar Command, set up in October 2001, and the Strategic Forces Command, set up in 2003, are the only two unified tri-services commands.