Bengaluru: Indian Navy has been in a heightened state of alert for the last two months with its entire fleet, including warships, aircraft carriers, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle deployed, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Robin Dhowan said today.
The Navy had already stepped up patrolling in coastal areas much before the recent Pakistan terror boat sinking incident off Gujarat coast, he told reporters here.
“We have already stepped up patrolling in our coastal areas much before the December 31 incident and for the last two months, we have been in heightened state of alert, with our entire fleet, including warships, aircraft carriers, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle deployed in our waters,” he said.
In a mid-sea operation on New Year night, a Pakistani fishing boat, said to be carrying explosives, was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard off the coast of Gujarat, but the vessel exploded and caught fire before sinking along with four occupants.
While the government has said the occupants of the boat were ‘suspected terrorists’, there have been questions over authenticity of this claim.
India is fully prepared to protect its long coastal region and secure its maritime interests with round-the-clock surveillance, he said after delivering “Admiral RL Pereira Memorial Lecture” organized by the Navy Foundation, Bengaluru Chapter in association with Bharath Electronics Limited here.
“As we operate in a challenging environment, we ensure to maintain all aspects of coastal surveillance because we have a huge coastline of 7,516 km, an exclusive economic zone of two-million square kilometres, thousands of merchant ships and about 240,000 fishing boats at any given time in our region,” Dhowan said.