China naval plan a matter of concern: India
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 02, 2010, 21:39
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 future.

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 CBGs.

"Our present plans are basically for two CBGs and not entirely restricted to them. Because we have smaller groups for different tasks," he said.


First Published: Thursday, December 02, 2010, 21:39

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