With China exercising influence over Maldives detrimental to India’s strategic interest, top Indian Navy Commanders reviewed plans for capability enhancements in the island territories to mitigate challenges in the maritime domain.

Also read: Indian Navy commissions INS Jatayu at Minicoy

The discussions came after the Navy inaugurated a new naval base, INS Jatayu, on Minicoy Island which is the southernmost island towards Lakshadweep Island and the nearest military installation to Maldives which has put a deadline of May 10 to force complete withdrawal of Indian troops from its territory.

Chiefs of the Indian Army and Air Force joined the brainstorming session during the first edition of the Biannual Naval Commanders’ Conference 2024, to share their assessment of the operating environment amidst evolving security challenges, the Navy said on Saturday. The Commanders Conference, held in a hybrid mode from March 5, ended on Friday.    

“Besides, the senior naval leadership reviewed existing and future plans, including capability enhancements in the island territories, to mitigate contemporary and future challenges in the maritime domain,” the Indian Navy’s statement read.

The review of major operational, materiel, infrastructure, Logistics and personnel-related initiatives took place during the third and fourth day of Conference at New Delhi.

Presiding over the inaugural session of the Conference, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh exhorted the Naval Commanders to remain poised for operations across the spectrum of conflict.  

He, however, commended the “brave and prompt response” by the Indian Navy to recent incidents and developments in Red Sea.

The Senior Minister underscored the leadership role expected of the Indian Navy towards ensuring peace and prosperity in the Indian Ocean Region. Singh, additionally, emphasised the importance of tri-services jointness and integration to favourably shape and influence the future battlespace.

Rajnath Singh was joined by Chief of the Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane and other senior MoD officials, besides Naval Commanders.

Numerous areas and domains to enhance tri-services synergy and cooperation also came up for deliberations during the Conference.

Also read: As Indian troops pull out, Maldives signs defence pact with China

On the sidelines of the conference, Naval Commanders also interacted with various ‘Think Tanks’ during a ‘Sagar Manthan’ event on Friday, the Navy informed. The forum provided an opportunity to engage with MSMEs, innovators and Academia to deliberate ways, means and novel avenues to further Aatmanirbharta initiatives and enhance self-reliance in defence production.