Navy to be 200-ship, 600-aircraft force

Tasked with protecting India's huge geo-strategic interests from Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait and beyond, the Navy intends to reach its aim of becoming a 200-warship and 600-aircraft force by 2027, firmly anchored in self-reliance and indigenisation. “Today , we have made the transformation from a Buyer's Navy to a Builder's Navy , and more importantly to a Designer's navy . All of our 46 warships and submarines currently under construction are being built in Indian shipyards, both public and private,“ said Navy chief Admiral Robin Dhowan. “But this is just scratching the surface because, as per the Navy's maritime capability perspective plan till 2027, all our ships and submarines are intended to be built in India...there is large scope for the public and private sectors,“ he added, while inaugurating an international seminar on `Make in India' organised by the Navy and FICCI.
The 46 warships on order for over Rs.3 lakh crore in domestic shipyards include six Scorpene submarines, the 40,000 tonne aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, five destroyers and seven stealth frigates.
The Navy currently has 137 warships, including 14 submarines, and 224 aircraft and helicopters but many of them are on the last legs of their operational lives. Critical operational gaps also persist in several areas like conventional diesel electric submarines, multi-role helicopters with anti-submarine warfare capabilities and mine-sweepers to detect and destroy mines. About the long-delayed Project-75-India to build six new conventional stealth submarines in India with foreign collaboration, Admiral Dhowan said the matter was pending with the defence ministry which had given it “top priority“.
When this project was accorded “acceptance of necessity“ in November 2007, it was estimated that the six submarines with both land-attack missile capabilities and air-independent propulsion for greater underwater endurance would cost around Rs.50,000 crore. But, with the MoD continuing to drag its feet in even issuing the tender for the proposed project, the submarines will obviously cost much more now.

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