The Indian 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.
Admiral Singh, speaking at an annual press conference, also assured the nation that the Navy is fully prepared to deal with national security challenges. The Navy’s long-term plan is to have three aircraft carriers, he said.
The Navy chief also said the first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) will be fully operational by 2022 and will have MiG-29K aircraft.
“The Navy’s annual budget allocation has come down from 18 per cent to 12 per cent in the last five years,” he noted.
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.
Asked about the massive expansion of the Chinese Navy, Admiral Singh said they are moving at the pace they are capable of and “we are moving at the place we are capable of”. Seven to eight Chinese ships are usually present in Indian Ocean region, he noted.
The Navy chief also said India is playing a stabilising role in the Indo-Pacific region.