New Delhi (India), December 3 (ANI): Amid the ongoing debate on whether the country should have a third aircraft carrier or not, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh, on Thursday, said that for an economically aspirational nation like India, aircraft carriers are "absolutely necessary".
In his Navy Day press conference, the Navy chief stated that the two Predator drones leased by the force were filling in the gaps in surveillance in the Indian Ocean Region.
"As the Navy, we are absolutely clear of the utility of the carrier. Because air operations are integral to naval operations. Airpower at sea is required here and now. The Navy is all about reach and sustenance,
If you are a nation that is aspiration and you want to become a 5 trillion economy shortly and you want to do well you will have to go outwards and seek the world. The navy does not want to be navy tethered to shore. For that aircraft carriers are absolutely necessary," he said.
The debate over the need of an aircraft carrier has been raging as there is a view in the defense ministry that the cost of such a project would be very high and it should not be pursued.
Meanwhile, the Navy chief said the Indian Navy has issued a requirement of multirole deck-based fighter aircraft which it wants to pursue with the Air Force requirement for replacing the existing fleet of MiG-29K aircraft.
The Navy chief said The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has also come up with its Twin engine deck-based fighter aircraft and if that is successful, it can be the choice of the maritime force.
"We are working with DRDO on the twin-engine deck-based fighter offered to us. A lot of lessons have been learned from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program and my hope is that the twin-engine jet can enter service by the early 2030s," he said. (ANI)