Indian Navy's focus includes unmanned underwater capabilities, says Defence Secretary
NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy is focusing on developing its underwater capabilities keeping the rising significance of underwater warfare. Informing the Standing Committee on Defence, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar said that the Navy is working a lot in this area. This comes amid a lower allocation of capital funds to the Navy as noted by the committee.
It was during oral evidence to the committee members, when asked about what kind of steps the Ministry was taking with regard to modernisation that the Defence Secretary, speaking about the Navy, said, “The force is focusing on three focus areas — unmanned aerial vehicles; unmanned underwater vehicles, which is a smaller submarine; and underwater domain awareness.”
The Defence Secretary pointed out that a lot of information in this area is classified but these three are the focus areas, “In the coming days, as the importance of modern warfare in space is increasing, similarly it's increasing below the water surface. “Earlier, we did not have much capability in this area but at present the Navy is working a lot on it,” added Ajay Kumar.
While the government is yet to approve the building of a second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-2) for the Navy, with IAC-1 likely to be commissioned this year, the IAC-2 features in the list of “planned acquisitions” in 2022-2023 in the Navy’s list, along with 20 other platforms, including several unmanned platforms, both aerial and underwater.
The Report of the Standing Committee tabled in the Lok Sabha on Thursday mentions the deductions in the allocation of the important capital budget that “cardinally provides for expenditure on modernisation, enhancement of force level, infrastructure development, etc.”
“Under Capital Head, in BE for FY 2022-23, the Navy’s projection was Rs. 67,622.96 crore and allocation to be made is Rs. 47,590.99 crore. There is a deduction of Rs. 25,281.97 crore in allocation vis-a-vis demand,” it said.
There was a deduction in allocating funds for capital expenditure in the year 2021-22 under the revised estimate. “In RE 2021-22, the projection of Navy was Rs. 50,011.38 crore against which an allocation of Rs. 46,021.54 crore was made, hence, Rs. 3989.84 crore short of demand,” said the report.