Naval Command upgraded to tackle Chinese threat

Naval Command upgraded to tackle Chinese threat

The Eastern Command at Visakhapatnam would soon be having a forward base at Tuticorin and an operational turnround base at Pardeep to provide more agility to the eastern fleet. Both will be ready within the 12th plan.

Keeping up with the growing stature of command, the Centre has upgraded the post of Chief of Staff of the Eastern Command to be a three-star officer. Rear Admiral S Lamba will take over as the Vice Admiral on May 1, sources said.

While the command currently have the landing platform dock Jalashwa and Shivalik Class stealth frigates, it will house the new P8I maritime surveillance aircraft, which India purchased from the US. Besides Dega and Rajali, a new air station has come up in Parundu.
The strategic assets – three nuclear submarines – would be based in Visakhapatnam. The first one – INS Arihant – is scheduled to be inducted next year while two others are under development.

The force accretion at the Eastern Command is being carried out to counterbalance Chinese naval ambitions. Even though the Chinese naval presence is not so significant at the moment, Beijing is going whole-hog in bolstering its naval capability which includes induction of aircraft carrier and a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

Both countries are aiming to control the Indian Ocean region, which has become strategically vital due to booming economies in South Asia necessitating constant movement of oil and other cargo in the region.