Indian Navy closely watching Chinese activities, capable of defending national interests: Admiral R Hari Kumar

Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar addresses a press conference in New Delhi.

New Delhi, Dec 3: Asserting that the Indian Navy keeps a close watch on the Chinese Navy activities in the Indian Ocean Region, Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar on Friday said the maritime force was fully capable of defending national interests in the maritime domain.
Addressing the annual Navy Day press conference, the new Navy chief also revealed that during the peak of the India-China border tensions on the Northern borders last year, the Indian Navy had deployed its warships in the forward locations and were keeping an eye on the Chinese warships operating along the Indian maritime borders.
“We are aware of the development of the Chinese Navy. They built around 110 warships in the last few years meaning 13-14 warships every year. Our plans factor all these activities and deployments in the Indian Ocean Region. PLA Navy has been present in the IOR since 2008 and we have been watching that. I want to assure you that the Indian navy is confident of defending India’s maritime interests,” said Hari Kumar in the one-hour-long press conference.
He said the Chinese have been deploying seven to eight warships on an average in the Indian Ocean Region which is kept under “constant surveillance by aircraft and ships and their activities are kept under close watch.”
Asked about the Indian response to the aggression by the Chinese navy in northern areas, he said the force had forward-deployed its warships at that time.
Praising the government for the creation of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Kumar said this was the biggest reform that has happened in the military since independence along with the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff.
“This enables faster decision making, integration and fewer layers of bureaucracy. I feel DMA made a significant change in the way armed forces operate at headquarters’ level,” the Navy chief stated.
Pointing out that the Chinese aggression on northern borders and the COVID-19 pandemic has created complex security challenges, he said that “despite the COVID-19, Indian Navy has maintained combat and mission readiness and resulted in preventing any misadventure in the maritime domain.” (Agencies)