India’s growing role as a strategic player in the South Asian regions has drawn attention to its Navy’s contribution as a security provider in the Indian Ocean.
According to a press statement released by the Ministry of Defence, a three-day Navy Commanders’ conference started on 31 October and is focussed on ‘Optimisation’ and ‘Emerging Technologies.’ The commanders will discuss the steps to take to enhance the naval fleet’s operational preparedness to meet any challenges in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The release said that the country is a maritime nation and its growth is inexplicably linked to the seas. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘s overall vision of the ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR), the Indian Navy has been at the forefront of providing an environment of stability and peace in the Indian Ocean Region.
SAGAR was launched by the Prime Minister 2015 during his Mauritius visit that focused on studying the blue economy (the economics related to the marine environment). The maritime initiative prioritises the Indian Ocean region to promote stability in the IOR. It falls in line with the Indian Ocean Rim Association’s regulations and policies.
As the premier Navy in the region, the Indian Navy aspires to remain the ‘Net Security Provider’ in the Indian Ocean through collaboration and cooperation with nations with alike agendas.
The Indian Navy has witnessed an unprecedented growth in its operational tasking over the past decade in consonance with India’s rising maritime interests. The Navy has adopted mission-based deployment concepts and the maintenance-to-operations transition cycle over the past year to address the need to be present and to respond to emerging situations in the Indian Ocean Region.
A maintenance- to-operations transition is a process that takes place over time. The transition process is a set of activities that encompasses planning for transition, implementation, and operations and maintenance (O&M) in a consecutive, phased order.
The Ministry said the conference will among other issues, deliberate upon combat readiness of units and optimisation of resources including manpower to meet the growing list of missions and tasks that the Navy is expected to perform.
The conference will have dedicated ‘brain-storming’ sessions to discuss and conceptualise new ideas and concepts. Furthermore, the conference will hold meetings to critically examine organisational structures and processes to meet developing challenges and threats to maritime security. Commanders will also look at utilising emerging technologies such as big data analytics and AI to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness.
Advanced computing technologies which enable autonomous systems to identify and strike targets are an increasing area of interest in intelligent naval combat systems.
The Navy Commanders will be briefed on the maritime vision of the Indian Government and expectations of the nation and its citizens from the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba inaugurated the event.