Chinese vessel in Karachi is of no concern to us: Vice Chief of Naval staff

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Murugesan1India is not overtly worried with reports of a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) submarine docking in Karachi port, in May.

Vice Chief of Naval staff, Vice Admiral P Murugesan, said, on 30 June, that the Indian Navy is capable enough to thwart any threat to the country’s sovereignty. A warship from a foreign country docks in another country; why should this be a cause of concern for us? Even Indian warships travel far and dock at ports of friendly nations. However, we are monitoring the movement of all ships in the IOR,” Murugesan said at the launch of three Fast Attack Crafts (FACs)— christened Tarmugli, Tillanchang and Tihayu .

It was reported a PLAN conventional Yuan-class 335 submarine had docked in Karachi, Pakistan on May 22. The submarine stayed in Karachi for a week where it was replenished. It was allegedly armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

“As per reports, China was trying to sell Yuan-class submarines to Pakistan. When asked about Pakistan’s plans to enhance its naval capabilities, he said, “India will not fall short in any way.”

“Forty-eight ships, including an aircraft carrier and submarines, are being constructed at various shipyards. It is to India’s credit that it can construct an aircraft carrier. Naval assets are cost intensive and ties between China and Pakistan are of no concern to us,” said Murugesan.

The Karachi episode is not the only one. In September, 2014, a PLAN Song-class conventional submarine with a Type 925 submarine support ship Changxing Dao docked at International Container Terminal in Colombo. The terminal is operated by the Chinese. Earlier in 2014, a Chinese nuclear submarine was on patrol in the Indian Ocean.

With the launch of three FACs, Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers (GRSE) can begin work on stealth frigates under Indian Navy’s Project 17A. Of the seven frigates being built in the country, GRSE bagged the order for three.

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