New Delhi: India today said China`s programme
for developing an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) is a
matter of concern and that it needed to look at its
deployment and put in place a mechanism to counter it.
"As far as a weapon like ASBM is concerned, if it is
operationally fielded, certainly it is a matter of concern,"
Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said at a press conference
here on being asked about his assessment of China`s programme
in this regard.
However, he said, India had to watch for the areas that
these ASBMs would be operationally fielded and come out with
an answer for this threat to its warships, particularly the
two Carrier Battle Groups (CBGs) it plans to have in the
Carrier Battle Groups are a warship formation with an
aircraft carrier as its centerpiece and are power
demonstrators. But ASBMs are projected as weapons that could
make CBGs look like sitting ducks, though the Indian Navy
itself does not believe it to be so.
"The areas in which it (ASBM) will be deployed in our
area of operation is something we need to look at. And
certainly we need to have something in place with respect to
ASBM-type of weapon and we will put it in place," he said.
Verma said the Navy`s present plans was for having two
CBGs for the western and eastern seaboards in the near future
for which it was building an indigenous aircraft carrier to
join the INS Vikramaditya, the erstwhile Russian Admiral
Gorshkov aircraft carrier, to form the two CBGs.
But the force levels would not be restricted to the two
"Our present plans are basically for two CBGs and not
entirely restricted to them. Because we have smaller groups
for different tasks," he said.