New Delhi: Admiral Robin K Dhowan, who has commanded frontline warships like INS Delhi, today took over as the Chief of Naval Staff, a post which was lying vacant for nearly two months since D K Joshi quit suddenly in the wake of a series of mishaps.
A navigation and direction specialist, 59-year-old Dhowan was the Vice Chief of Navy and was appointed as Acting Chief of the Naval Staff after Admiral Joshi quit. He will have a tenure of 25 months.
Dhowan supersedes seniormost officer Western Naval Commander Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, took over at the time when the force has been grappling with mishaps involving its warships and other assets.
Though he has not headed any operational command, Dhowan, the 22nd Naval Chief, has held various key positions and staff appointments during his career.
His command appointments include missile corvette INS Khukri, guided missile destroyers INS Ranjit and INS Delhi and Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF).
The Admiral’s staff assignments include key posts like Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Policy and Plans) at the headquarters in New Delhi, Commandant of National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Indian Naval Adviser at the High Commission of India, London and Chief Staff Officer (Operations) at Headquarters of Western Naval Command.
A navigation and direction specialist, Dhowan is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and Naval War College, Rhode Island, US.
Sinha was the senior-most Vice Admiral but he has been edged out of the race, apparently because majority of the 14 mishaps, including two major submarine accidents, took place under his command during the last 10 months.
Joshi, who had 15 months left in service, resigned on February 26 following the mishap involving submarine INS Sindhuratna in which two Navy officers were killed and several others were injured.
In August last year, submarine INS Sindhurakshak sank at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, killing 18 personnel on board.
The sudden resignation by Joshi changed the line of succession in the Navy.
Had he retired in August next year as per his tenure, Southern Naval Commander Vice Admiral Satish Soni would have become the next chief.
Under the new circumstances, National Defence College Commandant Vice Admiral Sunil Lamba is expected to succeed Dhowan in May 2016.