Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
12-October-2011 15:00 IST
Indian Navy-Net Security Provider to Island Nations in IOR: Antony
The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today assured India's maritime neighbours of the country's “unstinted support for their security and economic prosperity”. Addressing the top brass of the Indian Navy and MoD here, Antony said the Indian Navy has been “mandated to be a net security provider to island nations in the Indian Ocean Region”. He said “most of the major international shipping lanes are located along our island territories. This bestows on us the ability to be a potent and stabilising force in the region”.

While acknowledging the benefits of conducting several exercises in the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Western Pacific Shri Antony also brought out the need to maintain a balance between the various responsibilities of the Indian Navy by saying “Although reaching out to our extended neighbourhood is important, you must always be mindful of the core area of your responsibility that mainly includes preserving and strengthening our shore lines and coastal security”.

Talking about coastal security Shri Antony said “We have taken several measures to strengthen our coastal security, our maritime forces are capable of protecting our maritime frontiers. However, this should not lead into a feeling of complacency”. He went on to say that ''isolated incidents, which though directly did not pose a challenge to maritime security, highlighted the need to further strengthen our coastlines and maritime security”. Saying so Shri Antony emphasised the need to replicate coastal security exercises with all stakeholders “as frequently as possible”.

The Defence Minister spoke on other issues and challenges that face the Indian Navy. Describing piracy as a continuing cause of major concern, Shri Antony acknowledged the proactive efforts of the Indian Navy but noted that, “the international community as a whole needs to do a lot more collectively”.

2 Shri Antony observed that the modernization of the Navy was going apace. He however, pointed out that indigenous shipyards must “develop and expand rapidly, as well as adopt latest best practices”. Saying that the Navy has been making satisfactory progress in indigenisation efforts, Shri Antony said that such efforts must not only be continued but also accelerated.

Talking about infrastructure development, Shri Antony said that the development of infrastructure in the island territories must be pursued in synergy with other stakeholders. He also stated that Phase II of the Karwar project must be pursued vigorously.

The Defence Minister was addressing the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma and Defence Secretary Shri Shashikant Sharma among other senior officers of the Indian Navy and MoD at the beginning of the three day Naval Commander's Conference.