Chennai: The Indian Navy has transformed from a "buyer's navy to a builder's navy", Chief of Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan said here on Thursday.
"The blue print for the future Indian Navy is firmly anchored on self-reliance and indigenisation and currently we have 41 ships and submarines under construction in various public and private shipyards within the country," Admiral Dhowan said after commissioning the 2,200 tonnes INS Sumitra patrol vessel at a ceremony here.
"It is a matter of great pride that over the decades, we have transformed from a 'buyer's navy' to a 'builder's navy'," a statement from the defence ministry quoted Admiral Dhowan as saying.
He said INS Sumitra will have a major role to play in patrolling India's eastern coast.
"The Indian Navy is a multi-dimensional force capable of meeting any challenge in the maritime domain in the Indian ocean region.
"The responsibilities of protecting our vast maritime interests fall squarely on the shoulders of men in white uniform as it is the responsibility of the navy to ensure that India's maritime interests - which have a vital relationship with the nation's economic growth - are allowed to develop unhindered both in peace and war," Admiral Dhowan said.
INS Sumitra is the first major ship based in Chennai in recognition of the growing importance of the region and enhanced surveillance needs, the statement added.
"The primary role of the ship is to undertake surveillance of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) besides other operational tasks such as anti-piracy patrols, fleet support operations, maritime security of offshore assets and escort operations of high value naval platforms," it added.