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India-Lanka joint naval exercise

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Colombo/New Delhi: A six-day joint naval exercise between India and Sri Lanka commenced in the seas off Trincomalee, in the eastern part of the island nation on Tuesday, the Lankan navy media unit said.

The joint exercise titled “SLINEX 2015” is scheduled to end on November 1. Six naval ships and six Fast Attack Craft of the Sri Lankan Navy and three ships of the Indian Navy are taking part in the joint exercise, Xinhua news agency reported.

The navy said it concerns maintaining effective maritime security in the region by integrating forces through cooperation, coordination and collaboration.

“This leads to mutual understanding of limitations and capabilities, to enhance service inter dependability and system compatibility in countering challenges,” the navy media unit said.

The joint exercise was seen as a great opportunity for both the navies to rehearse and improve capabilities such as cross deck operations, replenishment at sea and information sharing.

The two navies will also carry out coordinated helicopter operations at sea during the exercise.

“Indian Navy has been a great mentor of Sri Lanka Navy in many maritime aspects. Regular joint exercises have facilitated both the navies to gradually and systematically develop professionalism through these interactions,” the navy said.

Earlier, in New Delhi, it was announced that the Indian naval ships Kora, Kirpan and Savitri along with ship-borne integral helicopters entered Trincomalee to participate in the exercise.

Kora and Kirpan, the missile corvettes, are commanded by Commander Ashok Rao and Commander Abraham Samuel respectively.

The offshore patrol vessel Savitri is under Commander Prashant Negi.

In addition, an Indian naval maritime reconnaissance aircraft will also participate in the exercise, the statement said.

The exercise will include complex operations including anti-piracy exercises, gun firing and cross-deck helicopter operations.

The sea phase will start on October 30.

“The benefits of operational interactions under SLINEX are clearly visible as both the navies today have an improved and steadfast understanding. SLINEX 15 will further enhance the capability of the two navies to work together at sea and contribute towards maritime security in the region,” the Indian Navy said.

“SLINEX aims to promote mutual understanding and provide exposure to both the navies to each others’ operating procedures, communication procedures and best practices.

“This allows the two navies to develop greater confidence to operate together, if required, during complex maritime missions.”

(IANS)

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Indian Navy, Restructuring its Organisational Setup to Cater to Advancements in its Military and Technical Systems

As per Navy sources, the proposal was discussed at length at the recently concluded Navy Commander's Conference in New Delhi

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Indian, Navy, Military
As per a senior Navy official, the re-orientation will result in functional re-organisation and optimal manning of its platforms by efficiently utilising the lean manpower. Pixabay

Indian Navy, the leanest of the three armed forces of the country, is contemplating restructuring its organisational setup to cater to the advancements in its military and technical systems.

The re-orientation is proposed as the force is acquiring systems with super-special technologies equipped on platforms, including new ships, frigates and submarines. As per a senior Navy official, the re-orientation will result in functional re-organisation and optimal manning of its platforms by efficiently utilising the lean manpower at its disposal.

As per Navy sources, the proposal was discussed at length at the recently concluded Navy Commander’s Conference in New Delhi.

At present, the Navy’s staff strength is 56,000, which includes 5,600 officers. In comparison, the staff strength of the Air Force is 1.5 lakh and the Army, 13 lakh.

Indian, Navy, Military
The re-orientation is proposed as the force is acquiring systems with super-special technologies equipped on platforms, including new ships, frigates and submarines. Pixabay

“Discussions are underway to develop an organisational structure based on the Operator-Maintainer concept of the US Navy. In this concept, the operator of any system on a particular platform is technically qualified to undertake the first line of maintenance of that system,” said a senior Navy official.

However, given the technical complexities involved in operation of new systems on board any platform, technical knowledge is required.

“To acquire crew with the requisite technical knowledge, the Navy is contemplating on altering their training methodologies and even recruiting staff with the necessary education backgrounds,” said the official.

Indian ships typically have two sets of crew. There are sets of ‘operators’ to run systems, like radars, a fire control systems or guns. There are separate sets of ‘maintainers’ whose services are called in when any of the systems malfunction. The ‘operator-maintainer’ concept would mean overlapping of technically complex functionalities.

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As per experts, Russian ships too follow the operator-maintainer concept. Russian platforms were witness to massive overcrowding when they were inducted into the Indian Navy because these were designed to accommodate only a limited number of persons. The Royal Navy of the UK has tried this system on its ships too.

“In the operator-maintainer concept, each person has to be technically qualified because maintaining a modern platform is complex. There are two issues involved for India in adopting this system. The existing crew has to be trained with much higher level of technical competence.

After merging of functions, leaves available to any staff, which is around three months a year, have to be curtailed. Another issue pertains to the costs involved in training the staff. There has been a trend among officials quitting the Navy after 15 years of service for lucrative jobs in other sectors of the economy,” former Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash told IANS. (IANS)