Lot of resources been shifted from other arms of PLA to its navy: Navy Chief

NEW DELHI, July 25: A day after the Chinese Defence Ministry released a white paper on its military development, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Thursday said a lot of resources have been shifted to the PLA Navy from other arms of the People’s Liberation Army and India will have to “watch it carefully”.
The white paper titled ‘China’s National Defence in the New Era’, released in Beijing on Wednesday, touched upon various aspects of its military development comparing with India, US, Russia and other countries.
“It is not just the Chinese white paper, it has been said in the past also. Lot of resources have been shifted from other arms to the PLA Navy obviously in line with their intention to become a global power. We have to watch it carefully and see how we can respond within our budget and THE constraints that we have,” Singh told reporters on the sidelines of an international seminar here on shipbuilding.
Responding to a question on the second indigenous aircraft carrier, the Navy chief said, “Our plan is to build a 65,000-tonner possibly with electrical propulsion and CATOBAR”.
CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery or Catapult Assisted Take-Off Barrier Arrested Recovery) is a system used for the launch and recovery of aircraft from the deck of an aircraft carrier.
To a question on naval budget, he said, “We require long-term fiscal support to build a navy, that is the only way we can plan. And, this has been my constant refrain.”
Earlier, in his address at the seminar titled, ‘Nation Building through Shipbuilding’ held at FICCI here, Singh said he was confident that the proceedings of the seminar would prove to be a springboard for implementable ideas for shipbuilding in India. “The Government has announced plans to take the country on a trajectory of USD 5 trillion economy by 2024. And, I think shipbuilding can contribute immensely to this endeavour,” he said.
Singh asserted that the Navy is fully invested in encouraging an indigenous shipbuilding ecosystem, and 50 years before ‘Make in India’ became a national mission, the Navy took formative steps towards it through creation of an in-house ‘Central Design Office’ in 1964.
The Navy has, to date, designed more than 90 warships across 19 different classes. With more than 130 platforms constructed in Indian shipyards since the first ship INS Ajay was constructed by GRSE in 1961, Naval shipbuilding could be counted as one of the success stories of India, he said.
“This is testimony to the synergy between the Navy and industry, as also our commitment towards self-reliance. Yet, we must acknowledge that this journey from a ‘Buyers Navy’ to a ‘Builders Navy’ has been an arduous one,” the Navy chief said. Also, shipbuilding, being a capital intensive activity, has created a narrative where budgetary allocation for naval shipbuilding is considered by some to be a drain on the economy, he said. (PTI)