Funding Shortage Influencing Naval Capability Development - Indian Navy Chief

© AP Photo / Rafiq MaqboolIndian navy person stands guard on board war ship Godavari during its decommissioning at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015
Indian navy person stands guard on board war ship Godavari during its decommissioning at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015 - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Tuesday admitted that a shortage of funds is impacting the "future planning and capability development" of the maritime force, which is competing with an assertive China in the Indian Ocean Region.

Delivering a speech on the Indian Ocean - Changing Dynamic - Maritime Security Imperatives for India, he said that the navy is keeping a close watch on the progress of China's maritime force.

"This way we are finding it difficult to assure the nation, that wants to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024, and give the kind of impetus [it needs] on [the] maritime front", Admiral Karambir Singh added.

The statement holds significance as it comes against the backdrop of persistent cuts in the budgetary allocation to the navy which, wanted to acquire at least 200 warships and submarines by 2027.

Allocation to the navy has been reduced from 18 percent of the Defence Budget in 2012-13 to 13 percent now, which is impacting future force planning and capability development, Singh added.

At the naval commanders' conference in April this year, the force extensively discussed the plan to acquire at least 200 ships, 500 aircraft, as well as 24 attack submarines by 2027.

At present, the navy has around 132 ships, 220 aircraft and 15 submarines.

"One of the challenges is [the] long-term budgetary support required to build naval capability. If you want to build a ship, it takes some years and for that, we need to be assured budgetary support", he said.

"Because of budgetary allocation, we have to do a little bit of revamping of our procurement plan. Yes, it has limited us to some extent", Singh pointed out during the interaction with media in Pune.

Asked about his remarks over China's presence in the Indian Ocean Region, he said: "We are watching the progress".

"They (China) want to become a global power...we are watching them and for us national security is important".

Since 2018, the Indian Navy has been operating its warships and other maritime assets under a new strategic plan known as "Mission-Based Deployment" as it seeks to maintain its dominant regional position amid a growing Chinese naval presence.

The Indian Navy divides the plan into two parts, known as Operation GULFDEP and Operation MALDEP.

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