Nijjer says China's naval spending nothing new
The Tribune , Jul 26, 2019
A day after a ‘defence white paper’ from China talked about increased spending on its navy, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh Nijjer today said Beijing’s focus on its navy was nothing new and that “we have to see how we can match their intent within our budget and resources”.
He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of an international seminar on “Nation building through ship building” organised by the Navy and FICCI here.
Asked how he saw the focus of Chinese on its navy, Admiral Nijjer said they had been putting their resources into navy for long.
Admiral Nijjer, whose family hails from Punjab, took over as the Navy Chief on May 31.
China in the past has been making forays into the Indian Ocean. Its submarines have been trawling the open seas. At any given point, it has around 10 warships in the Indian Ocean, sources said.
The Navy Chief described the upcoming project to manufacture submarines and helicopters as “vital” to build capacities. An expert committee is looking into Project 75I to build submarines, while in case of the naval utility helicopter expression of interest is out.
He said the contract for the multi-role helicopters (24 of them) was expected by end of the year. Navy is in discussion with US company Lockheed Martin for the same.
Asked about the proposed second indigenous aircraft carrier, the Navy Chief said the 65,000-tonne carrier would run on electric propulsion and use catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR). CATOBAR is used to launch fighter jets from the deck of an carrier and make them land back.
Shipbuilding can contribute immensely to the government's vision of making India a $5 trillion economy: Indian Naval Chief