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The Indian Navy is going to carry out major operations involving the fleets of both of its aircraft carriers off the west coast in the next ten days, Admiral R Hari Kumar said on Sunday. In an exclusive interaction with ANI, he said both aircraft carriers, including the INS Vikramaditya and made-in-India INS Vikrant, would be present in Vishakhpatnam during the ‘Exercise Milan’ but the twin carrier operations would be seen only after 10 days.

“Both the carriers are going to be there for Exercise Milan. However, the operationalisation of the carriers, the integration to the fleet and participation of the fleet is going to happen in ten days,” the Navy chief said.

He further said on completion of Exercise Milan, “the carriers as well as the escort ships will all go to the western seaboard. We are going to integrate them”.

“The tempo of operation is quite high in the western seaboard right now because 10 of our ships are deployed for anti-drone measures and another 3-4 ships are deployed for anti-piracy operations, which is unprecedented. This wasn’t the case earlier,” the Navy chief said.

He added that INS Vikrant would be positioned on the east coast only after the infrastructure for it is created there.
On the clearance of C295 aircraft based surveillamce planes for the force, Admiral Hari Kumar said, “The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) approved it yesterday. There are nine aircraft for the Navy and six for the Coast Guard. So, a total of 15 aircraft.”

The Navy chief added that the C295 aircraft now is going to be built in India, in line with the push for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India).

“The key thing is that the sensor suite and the information management system, all that is going to be developed jointly by DRDO and Tata Advanced Systems Limited. it will take probably at least 4-5 years before we get the delivery of the first aircraft because it’s a developmental project for this,” the Navy chief said.