New Delhi: Against the backdrop of incursions in Ladakh, Navy Thursday said it was continuously monitoring the activity of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
"Chinese warships are deployed in the Indian Ocean Region and we are continuously monitoring them and see what is their deployment. Along with it, our aircraft, submarines and warships are always deployed to face any challenge.
"....IOR is our area of operations and we see what is Chinese deployment in IOR and how it can create challenges for us and how we can face them....We are always ready," Navy Chief Admiral Robin Dhowan told reporters here.
He was asked to comment on the situation in Chumar in Ladakh where Chinese troops intruded more than two weeks back and are engaged in stand-off with Indian soldiers on the sidelines of the golden jubilee of the Navy Warship Design Bureau.
The Navy Chief said only the Army was competent to comment on the particular incident in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said it was the Navy's responsibility to look after Indian maritime interests in IOR. "We are always ready to face them. Our economic interests are there in the maritime region and their protection is also our responsibility."
In the recent times, the Chinese Navy has been deploying its warships and submarines in IOR.
Asked about the proposed maritime dialogue between India and China this year, he said the two sides have been cooperating in terms of port visits and anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Asked if the Indian Navy would be required to protect country's economic interests in the oil exploration activity planned with Vietnam, Dhowan said the Navy will show its presence wherever it is required.
He said the Navy's eastern fleet had recently gone to Vladivostok in Russia and then sailed to the Pacific Ocean to hold exercises with the US and Japanese Navy under the Malabar series of war games.
On the future of the deal to buy 16 multirole helicopters for warships, the Navy Chief said the case was in the final stages and expressed the hope that it would be finalised soon.
On the final inquiry report about INS Sindhurakshak submarine which sank in August last year killing 18 personnel, he said it happened "perhaps because certain Standard Operating Procedures were not followed which could have led to the accident".
The Navy has submitted the Board of Inquiry (BoI) report on the accident to the Defence Ministry and it will be studied before any final decision is taken by the force.
To a query on the proposed second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, he said the force is preparing the Detailed Project Report for it and it will be submitted to the Defence Ministry very soon for the required sanctions.
He termed as "speculative" the suggestion that the proposed warship would be propelled by nuclear power.