The Indian Navy will not join any multilateral groupings, putting to rest the possibility of Indian participation in the U.S.-mooted concept of a 1,000-ship navy.
Addressing the naval commanders here, Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony ruled out India joining such a group unless it is under a U.N. mandate, said a Defence Ministry statement.
The 1,000-ship navy concept, espoused by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, envisioned an operational partnership of naval and coastal forces from friendly countries around the world.
The remarks by Antony also have cast doubt on the U.S.-sponsored Proliferation Security Initiative, the Container Security Initiative and the Regional Maritime Security Initiative, said a Defence Ministry source.
In the context of the recent terrorist attack at a naval base in neighboring Pakistan, Antony said, “The challenges of the Indian Ocean rim, and the volatile neighborhood we live in, make it imperative for us to maintain operational readiness at all times. Recent incidents in our neighborhood have strongly underlined the need to maintain constant vigil. The Navy needs to take stock of the level of operational preparedness from time to time.”
Turning to coastal security, Antony said the government has made considerable progress in plugging the gaps, but a lot more needs to be done. Various agencies need to adopt a far more collaborative and cooperative approach, according to the ministry statement.