Navy chief says dearth of critical equipment

Govt silent on construction of warship weapons

Navy chief says dearth of critical equipment

As China rapidly builds its maritime muscle, the Indian Navy looks at a long list of shortage of critical weapons and platforms, from submarines and torpedoes to missiles and helicopters.

The required materials are nowhere on the horizon though the urgency of their necessity was conveyed to the government years ago

Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan on Thursday said the service was awaiting the defence ministry’s response on procuring torpedoes for Scorpene submarines, the first of which is slated to be commissioned within a year, and creating a second assembly line to manufacture six more conventional submarines.

The world’s fourth largest Navy struggles with severe shortage of helicopters, essential for maritime operations. The government is also silent on the construction of tank-carrying warships known as landing platform dock. 
The two recently commissioned Kolkata-class destroyers are without their main air defence weapon—the long-range surface to air missile, whose first successful trial was conducted only last week. The missile was tested from an Israeli naval platform.

“The successful trial opens up the way ahead for trials in Kolkata class ships soon,” Dhowan said. The two Kolkata-class ships are INS Kolkata and INS Kochi.

On P-75I India building six more diesel-electric submarine in an Indian shipyard, the navy chief said: “The report of the shipyard survey has been submitted to the defence ministry, which will have to take a decision.”

The project was approved a decade ago following a 1999 naval perspective plan that envisaged having 24 submarines in the fleet.

Mumbai-based Mazgaon dock is constructing six Scorpene class submarines with French technology. The first one, to be named INS Kalvari, is likely to be commissioned in 2016.

The submarine, however, doesn't have its most potent weapon—the Black Shark torpedo.Black Shark is a fully stealth, wire guided and self-homing heavy-weight torpedo that can be integrated with any types of torpedo tubes.

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