Navy to discuss aging fleet, warship safety next week

Navy to discuss aging fleet, warship safety next weekNEW DELHI: Maintenance of its aging fleet, security and safety of warships and development of major infrastructure projects such as Project Seabird in Karwar would be high on agenda of the naval commanders’ conference scheduled to be held here next week.

The conference, which has been delayed by over two months due to resignations by the then Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi and Western Naval commander Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, will be the first to be headed by Admiral Robin Dhowan who will also review the integration of the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya with other assets of the fleet.

The meeting is also scheduled to discuss measures for strengthening coastal security which has been pointed out as a key priority area by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Navy officials said.

On the aging fleet of around 140 different type of combat vessels with the maritime force, officials said the Navy has around 50 new warships while others are relatively old and the top commanders would discuss ways to keep them in good shape through proper maintenance practices.

The force has 44 new warships in the pipeline but a number of serving ships would also be phased out in a gradual manner.

The safety and security of warships during operations and exercises would also be discussed by the senior officers against the backdrop of 14 mishaps which rocked the Navy brass in the last one year leading to the resignation of former Navy chief Joshi and Sinha.

The Navy chief has stressed on observation of Standard Operating Procedures strictly to avoid such mishaps and accidents to keep the force in a high state of readiness, Navy officials said.

The force will also review the status of its major infrastructure projects such as Project Seabird, which has been in the making for almost 40 years and the expansion of runway in Andaman and Nicobar Islands under Project Baaz, they said.

The senior officers would also discuss ways of reducing the carbon footprints of the maritime force as it is one of the key result areas of the Navy chief, they said. -PTI