Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar said the Navy had got a sanction for the design and development of a diesel engine for maritime purposes and it was expected to be ready in four years

The Navy had got a sanction for the design and development of a diesel engine for maritime purposes and it was expected to be ready in four years, Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar said on Monday while acknowledging that there had been supply chain issues for the gas turbine engines sourced from Ukraine which had pushed them to embark on their indigenization. To another question, he said there were no plans at present to add more countries to the Malabar naval exercise involving India, Australia, Japan and the U.S.

An ambitious effort to locally co-develop a fighter jet engine in collaboration with global manufacturers was also under way.

“We don’t make diesel engines of the requisite maritime specifications. We have been making it earlier, but it has been under licence. Now we have taken up a case for making a diesel engine of the requisite capacity designed and developed in India, that has already been sanctioned and we hope it will materialize in about four years,” Admiral Kumar said in response to a question from The Hindu during the question and answer session. The Navy Chief was speaking at a talk on ‘national security challenges in the maritime domain’ organised by Vivekananda International Foundation.

Further, Admiral Kumar said they were working on making gas turbines generators and subsequently gas turbines as well while noting that they used gas turbines from Ukraine and U.S. “There have been some supply chain disruptions which prompted us to ensure the spares for these gas turbines and generators are made in India. Work has already started and we are confident that it will materialise.”

Admiral Kumar has earlier pledged that the Navy would be fully self-reliant by 2047. On the way forward for this, he explained that ship construction consisted of three parts, and in this, the current status of indigenization was float which was hull construction 95%, a move which was engines and propulsion 65% and fight component, weapons and sensors, 55%.

The fight component which was weapons and sensors stood at 55% and the Chief expressed confidence that it could be achieved by 2047 while also making special reference to the challenges in the design and development of carrier-based fighter jet.

On the Malabar naval exercise, Admiral Kumar said the exercise which began in 1992 had really revolved in scale and complexity over a period of time and had reached a very high level of “interoperability” and “maturity”.

It was India’s turn to host the exercise this year but with Australia making a request, based on consensus, it was decided that Canberra would hold the war game for the first time, he stated. “Whether more countries may participate in future, as of now there are no plans,” he said to a question.

Speaking at the seminar, Admiral Kumar said that the international order was undergoing rapid transformation and India’s security drivers had evolved in complexity over recent years. “Multilateralism is on a decline, global institutions are losing their effectiveness, great power competition is unfolding and, as an accompanying effect, the global commons are increasingly becoming contested domains,” he stated.

In this contestation, credible military power remained a crucial lever for protecting our national interests and expanding our strategic footprint, the Navy Chief said adding that in this, the Indian Navy played an important role, given the predominantly maritime character of our Region— the ‘Indo-Pacific’.

“We closely monitor trends and patterns of threats and challenges— from traditional as well as non-traditional sources— capable of impacting the maritime domain,” he added.