Visakhapatnam: The Indian Navy plans to induct 49 ships and submarines in the next five years to strengthen its naval fleet, a top Navy official said on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference on board INS Shakti, a fleet tanker of the Indian Navy here on Saturday, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral
Anil Chopra said the Navy presently has 132 ships, including 14 submarines.

"49 ships and submarines, which are under construction, would be inducted in the next five years. Out of these, 45 are being built indigenously at the Indian shipyards, while four are being built outside India," Chopra said.

Some of the ships that are to be inducted include aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, which is being built in Russia that would be stationed at the West Coast in Mumbai. Another aircraft carrier, being built at the Cochin shipyard, is likely to be stationed at Easter Naval Command here, he said.

"Other ships to be inducted include, three Shivalik class stealth frigates, four Kamorta class ASW corvettes, three Kolkata class project 15A, four project 15B ships, seven project 17A ships, three follow on Project 1135.6 ships, nine offshore patrol vessels, two cadet training ships," he said.

Apart from these, six catamaran survey ships and 95 fast interceptor crafts would also be inducted, Chopra added.

On the aviation side, the Navy plans to induct multi-role helicopter, naval utility helicopter, MiG 29K fighter aircraft, P81 long-range maritime patrol ASW aircraft, medium-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, in addition to mid-life upgrade plans for SeaKings and KV28 helicopters, he said.

The Vice-Admiral said that apart from its primary role as a defence force, the navy is also playing diplomatic, constabulary and humanitarian roles.

"As part of diplomatic role, the Indian Navy has been conducting joint naval exercises regularly with countries like Sri Lanka, Singapore, the UK and the USA, among others. The Indo-US Malabar exercise will be held in the Bay of Bengal next year," Chopra said.

(Agencies)