With Houthi rebels weaponising unmanned systems to target commercial ships in Indian Ocean Region, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday drew the attention of the Indian Navy top brass to the increasing use of drones in the modern-day warfare and urged the commander to remain prepared to deal with all kinds of challenges.

Speaking at the first edition of the three-day Naval Commanders’ Conference of 2024, the Defence Minister assured government’s all-possible support in its endeavour to keep peace in the maritime domain and also underscored the importance of jointness and synergy of the three Services amidst the constantly evolving geopolitical scenario.

Three-day Conference

During the three-day Conference, the Naval Commanders will discuss the maritime threat in the IOR emerging due to Israel-Hamas conflict which has impacted trade.

Singh commended the Indian Navy for increasing its “multi-dimensional capabilities” in the IOR and continuously “emerging in a leadership role”. The Senior Union Minister appreciated the Navy’s efforts to work towards peace and prosperity across the Indo-Pacific region, in line with Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Navy’s anti-piracy operations, he said, is being appreciated not only in India but across the globe. “If India’s reputation has increased in the Indian Ocean Region and wider Indo-Pacific, it is due to the bravery and promptness of our Navy. It has become synonymous with credibility in the Indo-Pacific region. The Navy is a reflection of India’s growing stature on the global canvas,” he said.

Twin-carrier operations

Singh embarked at sea to witness the Indian Navy’s ability to conduct ‘twin-carrier operations’, both aircraft carriers showcased the growing capabilities of the Navy to safeguard India’s maritime interests. The demonstration served as a powerful testament to the crucial role of sea-based air power in maintaining maritime superiority, said the Navy.

This time, the Naval Commanders’ Conference is being held in a hybrid format.