The Indian Navy is working towards upgrading the security infrastructure of its naval airfields by planning to install systems providing continuous surveillance, real time alerting and immediate response to a threat.

The matter came to light in a report of the Standing Committee on Defence which was presented to the Lok Sabha Speaker on Friday. The Navy is progressing a comprehensive case for upgrading the security infrastructure of its airfields. Six naval air stations are being addressed at a projected cost of Rs 500 crore.

“This project will leverage technology to provide seamless 24×7 surveillance, physical barriers, real time incident alerting and swift response through a robust and secure command and control system,” the Committee noted.

The project has been taken up with the defence ministry to progress it under the revenue to capital route. The Committee has recommended that the upgradation of naval airfields is critical from surveillance and intelligence point of view, and the necessary action should be taken towards this.

However, the move comes in the backdrop of the percentage share of the naval budget to the total defence budget witnessing a downfall in the current decade. In 2012-13, the share was 18.12 per cent and in 2014-15 it was 16.51 per cent, which plummeted to 14.47 per cent in 2018-19. The reduction is prominent in the capital segment, which declined from 10.41 percent in 2014-15 to 7.46 per cent in 2018-19. In the current financial year, it has been reduced to 13.66 per cent. The Committee added that the Navy’s share of the defence budget has seen a steady decline from 18 per cent in the 2012-13 to 13 per cent in the current financial year. It stated that there is a need to enhance the Navy’s share of the budget, in view of its increasing operational commitments.

“Keeping in view the declining trend of Navy’s budget over the years and growth of responsibilities, the Committee strongly desire that the Navy’s budget share should be enhanced to 18 per cent of the overall defence budget,” it said.

The Navy needs more money both for induction of new warships and other assets, pay up committed liabilities and also for the revenue segment.

Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh earlier this month had stated that the force has projected its requirement to the government, while it remains committed to progress force modernisation, using the available resources optimally. In the face of shortages, it is emphasising on prioritisation, rationalisation and economy of expenditure. It has also had to rework its plan to have 200 warships by 2027.

The army and air force are also reeling under budgetary constraints. Such as the shortfall in the budget for the air force is being felt in aircraft maintenance, serviceability and modernisation.

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1 Comment

Marco Sorokin · February 1, 2020 at 3:23 pm

Incredible points. Sound arguments. Keep up the great work.

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