Col AK Sharma (Retd)


To commemorate Navy Day on 04 Dec, our cover story  focuses on the topical issue of Restructuring the India Navy. The author Admiral Chauhan, in the concluding remarks, raises a basic question- what is the front end of the Navy? The answer, of course, is ships, submarines, aircraft etc. In the article, the author goes on to explain the numerous aspects other than the hardware that contribute towards optimal utilization of resources resulting into a viable maritime capability. Indian Navy’s increasing role in keeping with the nation’s aspirations, jointness in operations, emerging technologies, space and cyber warfare, to name a few, are some of the factors that necessitate and have a direct bearing on the Navy’s modernization. Development and shaping of human resources, however, assumes primacy over all of them.

Force structures are never evolved in a vacuum. Many factors need to be considered while carrying out structural changes. Some of these are fairly obvious, while others need considerable thought. Factors which affect the security aspects of the global and regional environment are of great importance. Threats and challenges are of course perennial considerations, but at times we tend to forget that national aspirations are crucial to force structuring, as are the desired capabilities the nation wants from its defence forces. A consideration of all these factors should logically point towards the size and shape of defence forces, including the Indian Navy, which the nation needs, as well as the manner in which a transformation is to be achieved. These are the major aspects analysed in our cover story. An interview with Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff covers a number of aspects dealing with expansion of the force and its modernization. An article on the relevance of Aircraft Carriers by Commodore Srikant Keshnur adds to the informative and intellectual content of the issue.

Finally, this issue being the last one of 2019, I wish to thank all our readers and patrons for their continued support. We promise to bring you more analytical and interesting reads in 2020 and the decade that follows.