Indian Navy to double its aircraft fleet to 500

Indian Navy to double its aircraft fleet to 500
HYDERABAD - The aviation arm of the Indian Navy will double its aircraft fleet in the coming decade to nearly 500, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba said in New Delhi on Saturday.

"We have a Naval Air Wing, which has 238 aircraft at the moment. It has a combination of fighters, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft, both- long range and short range. We also have a plan in place that in a decade's time this Naval Air Wing will grow to close to 500 aircraft of different types," Admiral Lanba said at a press conference.

Admiral Lanba reviewed the Combined Graduation Parade at Air Force Academy here.

Replying to a query on the issue of Sabi Giri, an Indian Navy sailor, who was discharged from service for undergoing a sex change surgery, the Naval Chief said the force cannot take her into direct employment, but is willing to accept her if she comes through any agency as a contract staff.

Defending the termination of the sailor's employment, Admiral Lanba said the Navy is a gender-neutral service but Ms Giri's actions violated the rules.

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