New Delhi: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressing on developing indigenous defence sector, Navy Chief Admiral Robin Dhowan on Thursday said the maritime force`s future growth would be based on "indigenisation and self reliance".
Heading the bi-annual Commanders` Conference, the Navy chief reviewed coastal security and also discussed the capability gaps due to the aging submarine fleet and the shortage of multirole helicopters on board the warships.
"The Navy chief discussed the self-reliance programme of the Navy and stressed that indigenisation of platforms and weapons, through public as well as private sectors, should remain an area of focus," a Navy release said.
In his maiden conference as chief, Dhowan also emphasised that the "roadmap for the Navy`s expansion and growth would continue to remain firmly anchored on self-reliance and indigenisation".
He asserted that induction of Vikramaditya with integral fighter aircraft MiG-29K is a substantial boost to the Navy`s capabilities.
"Capability gaps resulting from the ageing submarine fleet, shortage of integral helicopters in the fleets and the need for Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs) were also discussed," he said.
On coastal security, the Navy chief asserted "the need to remain ever vigilant and focused towards our coastal security responsibilities, through proactive coordination with other maritime agencies and coastal states".
He also appreciated the quick response of the force in deploying aircraft and warships towards search and rescue of the ill-fated missing Malaysian Airlines jetliner MH 370.
Dhowan told the senior commanders that "our men and women are our greatest assets and their morale and well-being should always remain a primary concern".
"The need to attract and retain quality manpower by focusing on measures to provide a high quality of life at all stages of their career was also discussed," he said.