Wednesday, 23 November, 2022
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Indian Navy says budget barely meets requirements, wants more funds for modernisation

The Navy has highlighted its high daily operative costs, maintenance of assets and the training of naval staff to seek more funds.

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New Delhi: The Indian Navy has urged the defence ministry to consider its existing committed liabilities and future modernisation plans while making allocations for the service in the upcoming budget for 2019-20.

The Navy is in the process of making major acquisitions in the next few years as part of its modernisation plans and so its committee liabilities run into crores of rupees every year.

Sources in the Navy said the service has also highlighted its high daily operative costs, such as those needed for fuel, maintenance of assets deployed round-the-clock, and the training of naval staff.

“We definitely need more funds to cater to our modernisation budget for 15 years (2012-2027) for a planned maritime capability and perspective,” a senior Navy official told ThePrint. “Our modernisation plans for a futuristic Navy envisages the Navy to possess 200 warships and 500 aircraft, including helicopters.”

The official added that the lapse of capital funds allocated each year is also a matter of concern.

“The Navy surely needs more funds in its capital budget just to meet its committed liabilities,” the official said. “Then there is the maintenance of assets and fresh acquisitions needed to boost the Navy’s operational capabilities.”


Also read: Modi govt to sell INS Viraat as scrap, naval fraternity questions sense of heritage


 

Major deals on the cards

The Navy is in the process of procuring 24 MH-60R multi-role helicopters (MRH) and 10 more P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft (LRMPA) from the US through the Foreign Military Sales route. Under the strategic partnership model, there are deals on the cards for 111 Naval Utility Helicopters and six conventional submarines under Project-75I.

At present, there are 36 ships and submarines under construction in Indian shipyards. These include the aircraft carrier Vikrant, P-15B class destroyers, P17A class stealth frigates, P28 ASW corvettes, offshore patrol vessels and Scorpene class submarines.

The Navy had also floated a request for proposal for 57 deck-based fighter aircraft for its under-construction indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant.

Smallest force, least revenue expenditure for Navy

The interim budget in 2019-20 announced in February had allocated nearly Rs 3.02 lakh crore for capital and revenue expenditure for defence, which alone forms 10 per cent of the total budget of Rs 27.84 lakh crore.

However, for the Navy, the revenue expenditure is Rs 0.22 lakh crore while capital expenditure is Rs 0.23 lakh crore, as allocated in the interim budget of 2019-20, striking out an even balance between the two heads, as against the Army where the revenue expenditure is much more than the capital expenditure because of the higher number of forces.

The highest capital outlay to the Navy is for the naval fleet at Rs 0.12 lakh crore.


Also read: Narendra Modi govt can’t increase defence budget. Best it can do is go for reforms


 

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1 COMMENT

  1. The Silent service is also the most expensive. The Indian Navy’s capital budget is about $ 3 billion a year. The latest series of aircraft carriers used by the US Navy cost about $ 13 billion apiece. For submarines, about $ 5 billion.

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