New Delhi: India, China and Japan recently
agreed for better coordination among their naval ships
deployed for escort of merchant vessels in the piracy-infested
Gulf of Aden, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.
In a written reply to a question in the Lower House,
Defence Minister A K Antony said, "India, China and Japan have
recently agreed for better coordination among their naval
ships deployed for escort of merchant vessels in the Gulf of
Denying that the government has plans to sign pacts with
neighbouring countries to counter militant activities and
check piracy, Antony said, "Nevertheless, the security and
surveillance apparatus for coastal defence has been enhanced
over the years."
Strengthening of coastal security apparatus is an ongoing
process considering the needs and changing security scenario
as well as the threat perception, he added.
In reply to a question on acquisition of fleet tankers,
Antony informed the House that Indian Navy has awarded a
contract for acquisition of such a ship to a foreign shipyard.
"Steel offered by the Shipyard Fincanteri, in response to
the Request for Proposal (RFP) for construction of fleet
tanker, was technically evaluated by a Technical Evaluation
Committee (TEC)," he said.
Based on technical clarifications offered by the
shipyard, which were ratified by two classification societies,
the steel offered by the shipyard was accepted by the TEC for
the stated purpose, he said.
On cost of constructing the tanker, Antony said, "Taking
into account both costing models, the Contract Negotiation
Committee (CNC) considered the cost quoted by Fincanteri of Rs
747.65 crore as the basic cost of the ship to be reasonable."
In reply to a question on setting up a military base in
Lakshadweep, Antony said, "Presently a naval detachment is
operational at Kavarathi Island."
Establishment of military base in Union Territory of
Lakshadweep is based on analysis and assessment of the threat
perception to coastal security and merchant shipping, as well
as requirement from strategic perspective. This is an ongoing
and continuous process, he said.
Replying to a query on military assistance provided to
Vietnam, Antony said, "Government is pursuing defence
cooperation with a number of foreign countries including
Vietnam, based on mutual interest of both sides and keeping in
view all relevant aspects."
Defence co-operation activities with foreign countries
include high-level visits, training exchanges and other
interactions between the armed forces of both sides, he said.