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Navy seeks more budget for building its assets and will induct AMCA, says Naval Vice Chief

Huma Siddiqui
indian navy, navy

The Indian Navy has demanded from the government that the Navy’s share in the total defence budget is brought back to the old level. The challenges for the Indian Navy have increased in the Indian Ocean which has increased the need for naval surveillance.

Not only are Chinese naval ships navigating in this area, but pirates are presenting a new challenge in this area against which there is constant surveillance. There is an urgent requirement of acquiring submarines, fighter aircraft, and for all, there is a heavy budgetary requirement.

Briefing media persons on the commissioning ceremony in Mumbai next week, Vice Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar said, "The Navy will certainly seek more money. What we need is more capital allocation of the budget… the Navy’s share was 18% of the defence budget in 2012-13, which came down to 13.6%. We would like it to go back to 18-20%."

Responding to a question, he said that the Naval Headquarter has sent a proposal to the Ministry of Defence to increase the budget of the Navy to that effect. Besides facing new challenges in the Indian Ocean Region, it is guarding area of 20 lakh square kilometres and also sending its ships to the far South China Sea. More than half of India’s merchant vessels pass through the South China Sea, which needs protection.

It is noteworthy that a provision of Rs 3, 19,000 crore has been made in this year’s defence budget. The Navy needs heavy budgetary allocation in the coming years to meet the major challenges and to needs to not only upgrade its assets but to also buy more submarines and fighter aircraft for its aircraft carrier.

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To a question on the naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), which made its first short arrested landing in Goa last week, he said the Navy was fully in support of the LCA project and always made payments on time.

The Vice chief clarified that "LCA Mk-1 was never meant to be inducted. It was just a technology demonstrator."

The recent successful arrested landing trial is a great achievement. This will lead to the twin-engine Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), and this will be inducted by the Indian Navy, he added.