Navy will reach ‘brigade-lift’ capability by 2022, says Vice-Admiral Soni

The Indian Navy will reach 'brigade-lift' capability by 2022, Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, said. Soni was addressing a seminar on 'Amphibious Operations' organised by the Indian Maritime Foundation. The day-long seminar focused on various aspects of Amphibian operations and explored views from the perspective of the Army, Navy and the Air Force.

"With four Landing Platform Docks to be acquired by the 13th Five Year Plan, India will have a brigade-lift capability," Soni said as he threw light on the importance of India's strategic location on the backdrop of the neighbourhood and the shifting of focus to the east. After having given a historical preview of various amphibian operations of the Indian Navy, Goa Liberation, Operation Jackpot, Operation Pawan, Operation Cactus to name a few, Soni threw light on operational capabilities of the international navies, including the US British, and Australian navies. At present, India's sole LPD INS Jalashwa (former USS Trenton) is said to have a troop lifting capacity of brigade minus as far as amphibian ops are concerned.

The seminar was attended by a plethora of serving and retired officers of the three services. Major General Amit Sharma, GOC 54 Inf Div, Commodore Rajiv Jaswal, Director, Maritime Warfare Centre, Mumbai, Group Capt S K Chowdhary, SASO, HQMAO, Mumbai, Capt Sushil Das, Director, Maritime Warfare Centre, Visakhapatnam, Commodore (retd) Rajan Vir, President, IMF and Vice Admiral (retd) Vinod Pasricha attended. Siemens India gave a presentationon on amphibious vehicles.

The day-long session brainstormed on various concepts such a the need of a unique Indian Amphibian concept besides discussing the role of the three services, more importantly the Army and the Navy in amphibian ops. Need for development of infrastructure in south India, more teeth to island territories, interoperability with friendly nations were discussed. It was discussed that the role of the IAF remained very much conventional even in amphibious ops- air dominance and sea control. The role of Marine Commandos, Special Forces was also talked about.

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