In a bid to match China, India is moving towards procuring a number of key assets, including six more submarines. It is also focusing on high-end unmanned systems or drones, all clearly aimed at tackling Beijing at sea.
Navy Chief for 3rd aircraft carrier
- A third aircraft carrier is ‘absolutely necessary’ to expand its maritime prowess, said the Navy Chief
- India has only one aircraft carrier — INS Vikramaditya, a Russian-origin platform
- Indigenously built INS Vikrant will be fully operational by 2022
Addressing the media today on the eve of Navy Day, Chief of Navy Admiral Karambir Singh said: “We are going to the Defence Acquisition Council for issuing a request for proposal (second stage of the tender) for the submarines.” The DAC is the apex decision-making body of the Defence Ministry. It meets once in 3-4 weeks.
A foreign manufacturer will tie up with an Indian partner to make these six next-generation stealth submarines for nearly $7 billion. Indian and foreign partners have already been shortlisted.
The process for acquiring 30 more “Predator” drones — two were recently leased from US firm General Atomics and may be deployed over the Himalayas — was under way, the Navy Chief said.