P8I spy planes deployed during Ladakh standoff… third aircraft carrier absolutely necessary: Navy chief

Written by Krishn Kaushik
| New Delhi |

Updated: December 4, 2020 8:06:07 am

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh at a press conference in New Delhi. (PTI)

Officially admitting the use of Navy’s Poseidon P8I surveillance aircraft at several locations during the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Thursday said “tensions along the northern border” along with the Covid-19 pandemic have posed a dual security challenge for the country.

In his annual press conference on the eve of Navy Day, Admiral Singh said the Navy believes a third aircraft carrier is a necessity; and will focus on unmanned solutions such as drones moving forward.

The Navy chief said that beyond P8I, the Navy had “also deployed the Heron from one of the northern bases” — Heron is a medium altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle. He said that he cannot share details, but “whatever activity the Navy is doing, it is in close coordination and in synergy with the Army and the Air Force to produce the desired results”.

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Regarding China’s actions in the Indian Ocean Region during the standoff, Admiral Singh said that it is “an ongoing situation” and “what is happening there, I personally, would not like to…

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