The Indian Navy, Bhartiya Nausena, is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy. As of 2006 the navy has 55,000 personnel on active duty, including 5,000 members of the naval aviation branch, 1,200 marine commandos and 1,000 Sagar Prahari Bal soldiers, making it the world's fourth largest navy. The Indian Navy currently has around 170 major vessels in commission, including the aircraft carrier INS Viraat, along with operational jet fighters.
Though the primary objective of the navy is to secure national maritime borders, India also uses its navy to enhance its international relations through joint exercises, port visits and humanitarian missions, including disaster relief. In recent years, the Indian Navy has undergone extensive modernization and expansion as part of its aim to transition to a blue water navy.
The Indian Navy sees several principal roles for itself:
· In conjunction with other armed forces of the union, act to deter or defeat any threats or aggression against the territory, people or maritime interests of India, both in war and peace;
· Project influence in India's maritime area of interest, to further the nation’s political, economic and security objectives;
· In cooperation with the Indian Coast Guard, ensure good order and stability in India's maritime zones of responsibility.
· Provide maritime assistance (including disaster relief) in India's maritime neighborhood.
· To play a key role as part of 'a pluralistic security order' for a better world.
1. HQ Western Naval Command, Mumbai
2. HQ Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam
3. HQ Southern Naval Command, Kochi