DEFENCE Minister will visit Mumbai to review the combat readiness of the force

New Delhi : Navy chief Admiral Robin Dhowan on Thursday briefed Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on the issues facing the maritime force including the depleting under-water force levels and the status of the indigenous nuclear submarine programme.

The Defence Minister was given a detailed one-hour presentation by the Navy chief himself on the issues facing the force and its immediate requirements for meeting its operational tasks couple of days before Jaitley visits Mumbai to review the preparedness of Western Command there, Navy officials said. Dhowan is understood to have briefed Jaitley about the recent mishaps involving the two Russian-origin Kilo Class submarines and the impact it has had on the operational capabilities of the force.

The Navy chief also stressed on the need for inducting more under-water vessels to meet the requirements of the force including the early procurement of new submarines under the Project-75 India and speedy construction of six Scorpene vessels.

The briefing, which was attended by all Principal Staff Officers of the Navy, including Vice Chief Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Deputy Chief RK Pattanaik and other three-star rank officers based.

The Navy also stressed on providing additional budget for the construction of the Indigenous Carrier, which is being built by the Cochin Shipyard. The force also stressed on the importance of inducting 16 multirole helicopters, which have been stuck for the last over two years due to one reasons or the other and frequent complaints filed by bidders who have been expelled from the tender.

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Free Press Journal