Indian Navy has deployed guided missile destroyer INS Ranvijay, indigenous frigate Sahyadri and fleet tanker Shakti

New Delhi: A lot of Chinese ships operate in the Indian Ocean Region and the Indian Navy keeps a close watch to ensure India’s interests are not affected, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar said here today.

Addressing the media on the eve of Navy Day, he also said the force was working on being self-reliant amidst lessons from the Russia-Ukraine war that “We cannot remain dependent on others for our security requirements.”

The Navy Day is celebrated on December 4 every year in recognition of the key role played by the Indian Navy in the humiliating defeat that Pakistan faced in 1971 war.

“All our focus remain directed towards making Indian Navy fully ‘Aatmanirbhar’ by 2047,” Admiral Hari Kumar said.

He described as a “landmark event” the commissioning of indigenously-built nuclear-capable aircraft carrier Vikrant recently.

“It inspires self-confidence amongst us. It’s a shining symbol of our indigenous capacity,” the Navy Chief said.

Justifying the need for self-reliance in defence, he said, “Recent events like Russia-Ukraine war have shown us that we cannot remain dependent on others for our security requirements.”

Giving an overview of the activities of the year gone by, the Admiral said, “Operationally, we had a very engaging and intense time in the last year. Very high operational tempo was achieved.”

He said extensive operational deployment helps the Indian Navy in many ways, in honing up the skills.

“We keep a close watch on all developments in the IOR (Indian Ocean Region),” he said, adding “Other extra regional forces are also present in the IOR.”

To a question about the visit of strategic Chinese Naval ship to Sri Lanka some time back, Admiral Hari Kumar said, “Our job as Navy is that India’s maritime interests are protected and we see that they don’t do anything that goes against the Indian interest.”

He said “a lot of Chinese ships” operate in the Indian Ocean Region — anything between 4 to 6 PLA Navy ships and a large number of fishing vessels also operate.