Navy Chief's Curtain Call

The outgoing Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta held his farewell press conference today. He spoke about a whole host of things, including China, the Indian Ocean, coastal security, the need for functional rather than geographical commands, post-26/11 lessons, military diplomacy, the INS Vikramaditya etc. Just a couple of things I thought I'd put down. One, he said the INS Shivalik, underwent a successful full-power test on August 24, and is likely to be commissioned in the next two months. "It was my fervent deseire to see Shivalik commissioned in my time. She's almost there, but not quite," he said.

Admiral Mehta confirmed what has been doing the rounds for a while now about the delay in the Scorpene submarine programme. He said, "We have lost a lot of time no doubt. Mazagon Docks is required to procure certain material from France, whilst the hull construction activity is going on here. There has been a little phase difference in this respect, and we are trying to resolve it. But we have lost a lot of time. MDL has to do something contractual to progress it."

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