New Delhi: With the attention more on bolstering the submarine fleet, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Monday stated that the Indian Navy may not get approval for a third aircraft carrier anytime soon. Also Read - CDS Bipin Rawat Expresses Confidence in Armed Forces, Says ‘Prepared to Tackle Any Situation From Pakistan'
General Rawat, who has been tasked to prioritise military procurement, said the cost could be a major factor in deciding on the issue as aircraft carriers are very expensive. Also Read - Watch | Security Personnel Can't be Blamed For Pellet Injuries, Says CDS Bipin Rawat
The statement from the CDS came after Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on December 3 said the Navy’s long-term plan is to have three aircraft carriers so that two carrier battle groups are ready for deployment in the Indian Ocean Region round-the-clock. Also Read - Financial Blacklisting a Good Way to Tackle Terror-Sponsors, Says CDS Bipin Rawat Taking Swipe at Pakistan
As per updates, the Indian Navy for long has been pitching for three aircraft carriers to deal with China’s growing naval prowess and its growing influence over the Indian Ocean region.
“The Navy says its submarine fleet is dwindling. Then submarine should be our priority,” General Rawat said.
At present, the Indian Navy has one aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, which is a Russian origin platform. Indigenously built aircraft carrier (IAC) INS Vikrant is expected to be fully operational by 2022.
“We will see how it (INS Vikrant) comes out. Examine the performance,” he said when specifically asked whether India will not have a third aircraft carrier.
Talking about overseas military bases, General Rawat also said that India is looking at having overseas military bases to provide logistics support to its ships and vessels, as the country is looking at expanding its maritime presence.