The Navy will work with the Air Force to cast a strategic net over Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to counter the increasing presence of Chinese Navy in the area. More assets will be deployed in the area. The fleet will be strengthened by adding 12 more ships. The AF is also focusing more on the IOR.
“The operations of our joint strike force will be better co-ordinated and deployed,” said flag officer commanding-in-chief of Southern Naval command vice-admiral Satish Soni.
The Navy has already invested considerable interest in developing the Andaman and Nicobar Island as a major build-up destination. Its air station INS Baaz is operational in Great Nicobar where IAF has a fighter base.
On the restrictions imposed on the movement of traditional fishing craft near the LNG terminal and Vallarpadam Transhipment Terminal, the vice-admiral said Navy would initiate discussions with authorities concerned to resolve the issue. “We’ve highlighted the need for sanitising the area. But we don’t want fishermen to face any hardship. We respect them and it is our job to protect their rights,” he said.