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Post mishaps, Navy needs to restore image: Admiral Dhowan

VISAKHAPATNAM (PTI): Maintaining that a series of accidents in the recent past have dented the Indian Navy's image, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan has called upon his men and officers to strive hard to restore the pride and prestige of the world's fourth largest maritime force.

It was the responsibility of every man and officer of the Navy to be combat-ready all the time, he said on Wednesday, addressing a gathering after reviewing a ceremonial parade in the city, which is the headquarters of Eastern Naval Command (ENC).

Stating that a slew of mishaps involving submarines in the recent past have dented the force's image, he said, "We have to work together to restore the pride and prestige of the Indian Navy. This is possible only through effective teamwork, diligent training and strict adherence to procedures."

This was Dhowan's first visit to ENC after taking charge about two weeks ago.

It was the responsibility of the men in white uniform to ensure that India's maritime interests are pursued unhindered, both in peace time and war.

This necessitates a multi-dimensional, combat-ready force, and the ENC, with operations spread across the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, is performing these tasks admirably, the Navy chief said.

Over the last two years, ENC has acquired three Shivalik class stealth frigates, long range maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft and nuclear-powered attack submarine INS Chakra, among other assets.

INS Arihant, India's first indigenously built nuclear- powered ballistic missile submarine, is in the final phase of harbour trials and will shortly be put to sea, he said.

Keeping these assets in a high state of combat readiness is the responsibility of every Navy personnel, the Admiral maintained.

He said under "Project 28", four warships are under construction at Garden Reach Shipbuilding Yard at Kolkata. The first of these ships will be inducted into the ENC very soon.

Dhowan visited ENC headquarters and held discussions with Flag Officer and Commanding-in-Chief Vice-Admiral Anil Chopra.


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