New Delhi: Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma
Wednesday asked his commanders to maintain a high state of
preparedness as the force`s role in fighting terrorism and
piracy would grow.
He also emphasised the need to maintain the highest
standards of "moral conduct and integrity in addition to
"The Navy needs to maintain a high state of preparedness
due to the ever-increasing demands of maritime security both
in the littorals and high seas," Verma said at the four-day
Navy Commanders Conference, which began here yesterday.
He said the tempo of operational commitments were
increasing significantly necessitating greater attention to
improving operational efficiencies and material availability.
"Professional excellence, coupled with material
preparedness, sound logistics, effective maintenance and
comprehensive training are the cornerstones of combat
readiness," he said.
His remarks on moral conduct come against the backdrop of
reports that a senior Naval officer, Commodore Sukhjinder
Singh, posted in Russia to supervise the Admiral Gorkshkov
aircraft carrier project, had established inappropriate
relationship with woman there.
The Navy has ordered a probe to find out if Singh`s
liaison with the woman could have influenced the hike in the
price of Gorshkov`s repair and refit from the contracted USD
974 million in 2004 to the recently concluded cost of USD 2.34
billion in 2010.
Verma pointed out that during the 2009-10 financial year,
the Navy had fully utilised its allotted budget and signed
major contracts including those for additional MiG-29K fighter
jets from Russia and for revision of Gorshkov cost.
Appreciating the additional funds for clearing important
schemes for the Navy, he said due emphasis was being laid on
improving efficiency of internal processes associated with
acquisition to achieve the goals laid down in the Maritime
Capability Perspective Plan.
During discussions on anti-piracy measures, he brought
out that since October 2008, the Navy maintained continuous
patrol of the Gulf of Aden when 17 warships were deployed on
anti-piracy duties to escort 976 merchant ships, including 130
The Navy had also deputed its units for patrolling the
exclusive economic zone and maritime areas of interest of
friendly island countries in western Indian Ocean such as
Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives, which Verma said would
continue to be facilitated.