NEW DELHI: The Navy's long-term plan is to have three aircraft carriers, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh said on Tuesday, and added that the first indigenous aircraft carrier will be fully operational by 2022.
The Navy is procuring 41 ships and its long-term plan is to have three aircraft carriers, Navy Chief said.
He was addressing a press conference here ahead of the Navy Day celebrations on December 4.
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Admiral Singh, speaking at an annual press conference, also assured the nation that the Navy is fully prepared to deal with national security challenges.
On the challenges in the neighbourhood, he said no action of any other player in the region should impact us. "We are ready to work with like-minded nations in the region," he said.
The Navy chief further said that India is keenly watching China's increasing presence in the Indian Ocean region, and assured that India is capable of thwarting any threat. "China has increased presence in the Indian Ocean since 2008. We are keenly watching them."
"There are Chinese oceanographic research vessels in the exclusive economic zone. On an average seven to eight vessels are present near this zone. They are here sometimes to carry out mining, sometime as anti-piracy squad," said Singh, adding that the Indian Navy carries out whatever prompt action is needed.
Admiral Karambir Singh also stressed that the India Navy is fully aware about Pakistan's intention in the Indian Ocean region.
"We also know about the intelligence input about that terror groups planning to enter India through sea routes. We have put an adequate defence mechanism to thwart any threats," Singh said.