Parrikar hails navy for indigenisation

New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday lauded the Indian Navy for embarking on the Make in India programme in a big way, and expressed hope that whatever lacunae are there would be overcome soon.

Talking to journalists on the sidelines of the Naval Commanders’ Conference here, the Defence Minister also lauded the navy for its capability of integrating different weapons and weapon systems of different origins.

“I am quite happy that the navy on the force level is progressing quite well. It is a leader in Make in India, as all 42 ships being made here are indigenously designed ships and lots of efforts have gone into it,” Parrikar said.

“On sensors, weapon system and integration of different countries’ weapons and weapon systems, it is a specialty that only Indian Navy possesses. You may have a Russian and American equipment and fire system or missiles on an Indian platform and both can be operated through an integration by the Indian Navy,” he said.

“It’s quite an achievement,” he said, adding, however, that there are some lacunae which would be addressed.

The Indian Navy currently has around 90 per cent indigenisation in float component, 60 per cent indigenisation in move component, and 30 per cent in the fight component. The fight component constitutes around 60-70 per cent value of the ship.

Asked about the recently-signed agreements with Russia for the supply of Kamov helicopters and four frigates, the minister underlined that the choppers would be built in India by the Kamov and the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

On the agreement for the four frigates, the minister said the plan was in pipeline for long, but was stuck as the power plant on the ship was to be imported from Ukraine. Ukraine stopped defence trade with Russia after 2014.

“Discussions started long back. Only problem was because of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, as the ship’s power plant is Ukrainian. Now, we will buy the power plant and fit it on the ship,” Parrikar said.

Two of the four frigates are to be built in Russia and the other two in India.

“All Indian equipment will be fitted on the frigate. So, it is a stealth variety where we are in position of designing,” he said.

Top commanders of the Indian Navy are meeting in the national capital from October 25 to 27 to review the prevailing as well as emerging operational and functional issues at the Naval Commanders’ Conference.