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We are making our own AIP system with DRDO: Admiral Lanba

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The Kalvari class submarine. An Indian Navy photo

MUMBAI (PTI): Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Monday said India is indigenously building AIP-enabled submarines.

"We are making our own AIP (air independent propulsion) indigenous system with DRDO. At present, project definition is going on. Prototypes based plant is being constructed and once it is ready, it will be fitted in the Kalvari-class submarines," Admiral Lanba said during his first media interaction after taking over as Navy Chief.

To a query if Pakistan's acquisition of submarines fitted with AIP system from China was a threat to India, he said, "The submarines have capabilities. But we have system in place and operation in place which we can look after that."

The Naval chief said the force was committed to building indigenous ship in-line with the 'Make in India' initiative and at present, 46 ships and submarines were being built in the country.

"The Navy has been focused on indigenisation right from the beginning. We have been building ships in India for over decades and 200 naval ships have been built in India till date. At the moment, 46 ships and submarines are under construction and are all being built in Indian shipyards," he said.

"We work closely with DRDO and other private sector industries to ensure our weapons and sensors are titled with India. We are focused and committed to make in India," Lanba said. Talking about India's stand after China rejected an international tribunal ruling on the disputed waters of the South China Sea, he said rule of law should be followed.

"As far as South China Sea goes...and arbitration which has been done...and decision which has been taken, India's stand has always been that disputes should be resolved on the basis of laws, there should be freedom of navigation and rule of law should be followed," he said.

The Hague tribunal backed the Philippines in a case on the disputed waters of the South China Sea, ruling that rocky outcrops claimed by China - some of which are exposed only at low tide cannot be used as the basis of territorial claims.
Admiral Lanba also said that 'INS Viraat' is likely to be de-inducted during later part of the year.

"Viraat, which commissioned in May, 1987 after doing good yomen's service for 27 years, is scheduled to be de-inducted in later part of the year," he said.

He also said they were working towards induction of 'INS Vikrant' by 2018.

"We are working in close coordination with Kochi Shipyard to ensure the INS Vikrant will be commissioned in December 2018," the Naval Chief said.

He also cleared doubts surrounding the MiG-29 aircraft and said "serviceability of the plane has improved".

"Indian Navy was the first country to induct MiG-29 aircraft. There were few issues when the aircraft were inducted initially and they have been resolved. The serviceability of the aircraft has improved over the years and majority of the problems are behind us," Lanba said.

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