Pak`s Harpoon modification poses danger: Mehta

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 00:27

New Delhi: With the US accusing Pakistan of
illegally modifying Harpoon missiles, which could be used to
strike Indian targets, Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta on Monday
said New Delhi had been pointing to the "danger of
proliferation" on several occasions.

This shows the "danger of proliferation and we have been
telling this from time to time," Admiral Mehta told reporters
soon after handing over the baton to his successor Admiral
Nirmal Verma here.

"This has nothing to do with (Pakistan`s) self defence
and it is against Indian interest," Mehta said.

He, however, said "Harpoon cannot be changed too much and
Pakistan will need some time to do the alteration on the
missile to strike land targets."

Referring to Indo-Russian BrahMos joint missile venture,
Mehta said it was first developed as a land attack cruise
missile and now it is being modified as a ship-based weapon.

Admiral Verma, who was asked about the US charge against
Pakistan about Harpoon modification, said the Navy`s
endeavour would be to ensure nobody came within the striking
distance of India and launch such missiles.

"Our endeavour during maritime operations is to ensure
that no body comes within a (striking) distance and launches
such missiles," he said.

On whether India was concerned over Pakistan modifying
Harpoons, Admiral Verma said, "We should have confidence in
our armed forces. They are equipped, trained and have tactics
to counter any threat."

Referring to the maritime capabilities perspective plan
of the Navy, he said, "Threats will be there. We have to take
care of them and counter them."

On Admiral Mehta`s comments regarding India not capable
of matching China force-by-force, Verma said it was one way of
looking at force level of the two countries.

However, he said, Mehta has already clarified his
comments.

"What we should look at is our capability. Whatever we
have is to counter the threats and take care of our maritime
interest. We have to be capable of countering the threats," he
said.

Referring to the increasing Chinese presence in the
Indian Ocean, the new Navy Chief said every country has the
right to pursue its interest in international waters.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 00:27

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