china defense blog The Indian Navy's elite marine commandos, Marcos, have undergone a makeover. Members of a Marco stick - eightmember quick reaction teams of the force - were seen in the new gear while on ship-protection duty aboard the guided stealth frigate INS Sahyadri during its commissioning last week in Mumbai.
As part of the makeover, the Marcos have also absorbed new weapons, including the Tavor-21 assault rifle and Galil sniper rifle procured from Israel two years ago. The new get-up, seemingly inspired by that of the US Marines, was tried for a year before it was formally approved.
The navy had initiated the procurement of the advanced integrated combat system, including equipment such as light-weight helmets, vests and weapons, to strengthen the capabilities of the commandos.
A Rs 50,000 crore plan to bolster naval arsenal
With the INS Sahyadri, the Indian Navy's state-of-the-art stealth frigate, successfully commissioned, the focus has now shifted to a Rs 50,000-crore project to build seven new warships that will be a class ahead of the Shivalik class, to which the Sahyadri belongs.
Defence minister A.K. Antony, who commissioned INS Sahyadri - one of the three 6,200-tonne Shivalik class frigates built at Mumbai's Mazgaon Dock Limited (MDL) - said ground work for Project 17A, under which the new warships are to be built, is underway, following which the proposal will be placed before the cabinet committee on security for the final nod.
The MDL, having gained experience in building stealth frigates by completing work on the three Shivalik class ships - Shivalik, Satpura and Sahayadri – under a Rs 8,100-crore project to boost the navy's war-fighting capabilities, has undergone a transformation to reduce time for constructing new warships.
What sets the Shivalik class apart is the benchmark it has set in terms of introducing new technology and raising the bar for crew comfort in a warship. The ships have highly suppressed noises, spoiling the chances of enemy radars picking its signals from long distances.