On Tuesday, Admiral R Hari Kumar took over as the 25th chief of the Indian Navy. Admiral R Hari Kumar takes up this role and succeeds Admiral Karambir Singh who got retired after 41 years of service in the military. Before taking over the reins of the Indian Navy Hari Kumar was heading the Mumbai-based Western naval command.
Hari Kumar took the charge of the Indian Navy at a time when his service is amid several critical inductions which include an aircraft carrier, submarines, warships, and modern helicopters to bolster its combat potential. Admiral R Hari Kumar has also assumed the responsibility even after changing power dynamics in the Indian Ocean region where it seems like the Chinese Navy is seeking a chance to increase its footprint towards the Indian Ocean region.
On taking up as the chief of the Indian Navy, Admiral R Hari Kumar felt honored greatly to take over the 25th chief of staff of Indian Navy. He sees that he will use their whole strength and Kumar will also take the Navy forward in the same direction and build more achievements. “It is a great honor for me to take over as the 25th chief of naval staff of the Indian Navy. The navy’s focus is on national maritime interests and maritime security challenges. For this, we will use our full strength. My predecessors have guided the navy with visionary leadership and I will take navy forward in the same direction and build on their achievements,” Kumar said.
According to some reports, it is also known that Kumar sought the blessings of his octogenarian mother Vijayalakshmi by touching her feet, as he took up the charge as the navy chief.
The warships which were commanded by Kumar in his career span of 38 years include aircraft carrier INS Viraat (no longer in service), INS Ranvir, INS Nishank, and INS Kora. Hari Kumar has attended courses at the Naval War College, US, Army War College, Mhow, and also Royal College of Defence Studies, UK.
He served as chief of integrated defense staff in one of his earlier appointments to the chairman, chiefs of staff committee. In that capacity, Kumar was closely involved with the ongoing theaterisation drive for optimal use of the military’s resources, and the navy will take steps towards jointness, he said on Tuesday as per some of the reports.
Kumar has took the charge of the navy at a time when the department of military affairs (DMA), which is headed by the chief of defense staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, has asked the three services to expedite their ongoing studies based on the creation of theatre commands to best utilize the military’s resources for future wars and operations, and also submit comprehensive reports within six months.
The setting of an April 2022 deadline for the submission of studies that focuses to finalise the joint structures seeks to give new impetus to theaterisation, which is a long-awaited military reform, and the deadline for submitting the reports has been advanced from September 2022 to April 2022.
The current theaterisation model will help to set up four new integrated commands for synergy in operations, such as two land-centric theatres, an air defense command, and a maritime theatre command and the creation of theatre commands could take up to two years.