Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar on Saturday said that the Indian Navy is keeping a close watch on all developments in the Indian Ocean, including the movement of Chinese Navy ships that operate in the region.
"There are a lot of Chinese ships which operate in the Indian Ocean Region. We have about 4-6 PLA Navy ships, then some research vessels which operate. A large number of Chinese fishing vessels operate in the Indian Ocean Region. We keep a close watch on all developments," the Navy Chief said during an annual presser.
He noted that nearly 60-odd other extra-regional forces are always present in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
"We are aware it's a vital region where there is a large amount of trade which transits, energy flows which happen. Our job is to see that India's interests in the maritime domain are protected," he added.
These remarks come as Chinese spy ships have been spotted in the Indian Ocean Region. Indian forces are reportedly keeping a close eye on their movements.
The Navy chief said maintaining a credible deterrence is the task of any armed force, especially the Navy. "To achieve that, we need to be ready to go in harm's way at really short notice."
Admiral R Hari Kumar said the Navy is ready to "protect, preserve and promote" India's national interest in the maritime domain. "To achieve this, we have the vision of being a combat-ready, credible, cohesive and future-proof force."
Citing recent global events like the Russia-Ukraine war, he said India cannot stay dependent on the world for its defence requirements. He added that the government has given the Navy very clear guidelines on Atmanirbhar Bharat.
"Recent global events amply underscore that we can't remain dependent on others for our own security requirements... Government has given us very clear guidelines on Aatmanirbhar Bharat and one of the Navy's commitments to the top leadership is that we'll become an Aatmanirbhar Navy by 2047," he said. (ANI)