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Indian Navy concerned over shortage of officers, sailors: Admiral Joshi

New Delhi, Dec 3 (ANI): The shortage of uniformed and civilian personnel is of primary concern for the Indian Navy, said its chief Admiral D K Joshi in the backdrop of stepped up maritime activities by China.

The Navy Chief expressed his concern on Monday during his interaction with reporters on the occasion of his annual press conference.

Admiral Joshi said: “The biggest strength of our Navy is our well trained Human Resource that derives its strength and motivation from the finest traditions inherited from our predecessors. The Navy is facing a shortfall in both uniformed and civilian personnel.

“Civilian personnel form the backbone of our maintenance force and have longstanding expertise, which we can ill afford to lose. We are making all efforts in conducting special recruitment drives to make good the shortfalls. Shortages of service personnel are also being progressively reduced through additional recruitments.”

The Indian Navy is focussing on strengthening its preparedness to deal with any situation and safeguard India’s maritime interests.

He said: “The Navy is prepared to meet any form of traditional threat, it is constantly acquiring capabilities and realigning its operational ethos to meet emerging security challenges.

“Accordingly, the Navy has maintained its momentum towards enhancing maritime security and safeguarding our economic and strategic interests. Today, we stand committed to providing stability, not just to the Indian Ocean Region, but also for safeguarding our interests across the oceans.”

The Indian Navy is evolving continuously to meet emerging challenges to suit India’s maritime interests. Modernisation and enhancement of the Navy’s capabilities is going on to meet emerging maritime challenges/threats.

Admiral Joshi said: “Over the next five years we expect to induct ships/submarines at an average rate of 5-6 ships per year. Amongst the major projects, under construction in Indian shipyards, are ships of Kolkata Class (P-15A), P- 15B ships which are an advanced version of the Kolkata Class and the P-75 submarines, all at Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai.

Anti Surface Warfare Corvettes are being series built at Garden Reach Ship-builders, Kolkata. In addition, Naval Offshore Patrol vessels are under construction both at public and private sector shipyards. The construction of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier though delayed is now picking up pace at Kochi Shipyard. In 2013, we expect to induct one Kolkata class destroyer, one P-28 ASW Corvette, one Catamaran Hull Survey Vessel, one Offshore Patrol Vessel and sixteen Fast Interceptor Craft.”

Amongst the overseas projects, the delivery of Vikramaditya is expected to take place in the last quarter of 2013. The scheduled induction of P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft commencing 2013 would augment the aerial surveillance capability. (ANI)