Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Robin Dhowan has said that the construction of French-origin Scorpene submarines at Mazagon Dock is progressing well, with the first submarine now scheduled to be delivered by September, 2016.
Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a Naval Investiture Ceremony on Thursday, Admiral Dhowan said while the Navy intended to take delivery of the first Scorpene diesel-electric submarine, built under Project 75, in September 2016, it would also ensure that the intervening period between delivery of the remaining five was minimised.
Asked about the arrest of two people in an LTC documents forgery case involving 30 navy officials by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Admiral Dhowan said whenever such instances came to the Navy’s notice, it carried out thorough investigation and took decisions based on their outcome.
On the proposed government move to ramp up foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defence sector, he said it was the government’s call and the force would follow “whatever decision taken by the government”.
He said the Navy would host Prime Minister Narendra Modi on board the newly-inducted aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on Saturday. “We intend to take the PM on board the carrier and showcase various operational activities undertaken by it.”
Admiral Dhowan said the carrier was fully operational and its integral fleet of MiG 29 K fighter jets flown by Indian naval pilots fully integrated to the platform.
The Admiral said operating at sea was not an easy job, but despite the harsh working conditions, navy personnel always wore a smile on their faces. “We are proud of our officers and men.”
At the investiture ceremony earlier in the day, he stressed the importance of team work and training in operating complex platforms in multi-dimensional force.
The Admiral awarded unit citations to destroyer INS Ranvijay, landing ship INS Shardul, submarine INS Sindhuvijay and sail training vessel INS Sudarshini. Shore establishments Naval Ship Repair Yard (Kochi), air station INS Rajali, Naval Aircraft Yard (Kochi), and INS Kadamba, base depot of naval base at Karwar, also received unit citations.
Lieutenant Commander Shailesh Tyagi, a marine commando, was awarded Nao Sena Medal (NM) for gallantry for the second time; while Commander KM Arun Kumar and sailor Krishna Kumar were presented NM for gallantry.