Saturday, October 8, 2011

Navy ‘no’ to n-energy on aircraft carriers

The Indian Navy seems to be sceptical of using nuclear energy for its aricraft carriers, though it plans to commission the nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant in December.

“Installing nuclear technology on a ship involves a huge design issue and high cost,” Admiral Nirmal Verma, the Chief of Naval Staff, told DC after inaugurating the India International Regatta here.

“We have restricted the use of nuclear technology to submarines, where it helps to create endurance under water,” he said.

Admiral Verma said the indigenously built warship INS Satpura was commissioned two months ago, while the refurbished Admiral Gorshkov, renamed INS Vikramaditya, would join the navy by December 2012.

“The three additional stealth frigates that are being built in Russia will reach us in the next 18 months,” he said.

On piracy off the coast of Somalia, Admiral Verma said the Indian Navy is part of the multinational naval task force set up to counter the threat.

“There is a tremendous exchange of information between all navies through a private computer network. About 15 countries, including France, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, China and India, are involved in this effort,” he said. Since 2008, an Indian ship has been permanently assigned to patrol the area.

“The Somalia coast comes within 200 to 300 miles of Lakshdweep. So we are carrying out massive search operations to keep the waters safe,” he said.

Earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff unveiled an Optimist boat to mark the official launch of the India International Regatta in Chennai and had called on TN Governor K. Rosaiah.

More than 100 sailors from 10 countries, including hosts India, Qatar, Ireland, Slovenia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Myanmar and Indonesia, are taking part in the regatta that will end on October 9.

The regatta is organised by the Chennai Sailing Academy under the aegis of the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association.

The Commodore of the TN Sailing Association, Ashok Thakkar, said sailing is poised for growth in the state with government planning to build an international class marina.

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