A shortage of modernisation funds to create new bases and projects, the Indian Navy is now going to deploy its frontline aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at a private shipyard in Chennai as its planned base in Vishakhapatnam is not yet ready.
“The case for leasing of the 260 m berth at L&T Shipyard, Kattupalli for a period of eight years (2022-2030) for interim berthing of IAC 1 on the East Coast has been taken up with Defence Ministry. The total financial implications for leasing the berth along with ‘ready to use’ infrastructure are Rs 30.48 crores per year in addition to Rs 48 crores as refundable deposit. The case is being progressed for early approval of the Defence Ministry,” the Navy Vice Chief told the standing committee on defence.
The warship had to be deployed it the new submarine and warship base called INS Varsha at Vishakhapatnam but the process has been slow and not moving at the desired pace due to which the navy will have to lease a private shipyard’s berth.
India has a plan of possessing at least two aircraft carriers at any point of time, looking after the eastern and western seaboards to monitor the vast exclusive economic zone and maritime boundaries. The Standing Committee also discussed the declining share of the Indian navy in the defence budget and observed that navy’s fighting capabilities depend not only on high-value platforms like aircraft carriers, submarines, destroyers and frigates but also on the allocation of the capital budget for the navy (percentage) wise has the sharpest decline.
“We recommend the Ministry not to make any cut while allocating budget for Capital Head for any of the services in the demands to be made in the coming years,” the committee said in its report.
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