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Navy ready for evacuations if Gaza situation warrants it: Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar

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BENGALURU : Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar on Saturday said that the Indian Navy was on standby to deploy its assets for evacuation operations, if the need arose due to the ongoing conflict in West Asia.

“We have our units deployed in the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, and also in the Red Sea for any assistance that is required. The country is already providing assistance to Gaza in terms of relief materials,” Admiral Kumar said in response to a query on the role of the Indian Navy in West Asia in the backdrop of the ongoing events in Gaza. He was speaking at the Synergia Conclave 2023 held in Bengaluru, where he delivered the keynote address.

Fielding questions on the role of the Indian Navy in West Asia in the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Admiral Kumar said: “We have units deployed in the Gulfs of Oman and Aden, and the Red Sea for any assistance.

The country is already providing relief materials to Gaza. The Navy was ready to undertake any task given by the government.” Addressing India’s national maritime domain, Admiral Kumar emphasised the Navy’s role in protecting, preserving, promoting, and pursuing national interests. With adequate resources and ongoing developments, he outlined plans for the Navy’s growth, projecting around 165-170 ships and submarines by 2035.

“We have adequate resources and are reasonably well funded. We are right now a 130-ship navy with about 220 aircraft. We have 67 ships and submarines under construction of all sizes. By 2035, we should have about 165-170 ships and submarines, along with an increase in the number of air assets. An acceptance of necessity (AON) has been given for another 45 ships and submarines,” he said.

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