Friday, August 23, 2013

6 submarines under construction, assures Antony

New Delhi: Defence minister A.K.Antony repying to queries from members told Rajya Sabha about the fire that destroyed INS Sindhurakshak on August 14 that six submarines are under construction at Mazagon dockyard and another six are at “an advanced state of sanction.” He admitted that the Sindhurakshak incident cast a sad shadow on maritime security but he assured that Indian Navy is going to become a blue water navy. The defence minister also argued that threat perceptions are dynamic in nature. Antony informed the members that the navy board is inquiring into the fire incident and that only at the end of the inquiry would it be possible to speak about the causes that led to the outbreak of fire on Sindhurakshak and its sinking along with the death of 18 sailors on board. “Nothng is ruled out. At the moment nothing can be said conclusively. He said that one more body was recovered bringing the number of recovered bodies to seven. He said the post-mortem reveals that the cause of death was “extensive burns.” The blood samples of the relatives are being taken and there was continuouis contact with the families of the dead sailors. Referring to salvage operations, Antony informed that half of the burnt and sunk Sindhurakshak was embedded in silt. He also said that warships and submarines are not insured. In his reply, Antony said that for the last three years, the Air Force and Navy are procuring most modern platforms. He said unlike in the earlier years, the ministry of defence was not surrendering unutilised funds: “The entire budget is being spent.” He said there is no money for all the proposals because of the economic situation. “We will continue to make efforts to get more money,” Antony observed. “With all the limitations, Indian armed forces are the best in the world. That is why, armed forces of many countries want to hold joint military exercises with India,” he said.

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