New Delhi: Admiral R Hari Kumar on Tuesday took over as the new chief of the Indian Navy replacing Admiral Karambir Singh who has retired from the service. The 59-year-old officer was commissioned into the executive branch of navy in January 1983 and was serving as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command before taking the reins of the force.
Kumar earlier served as chief of integrated defence staff to the chairman, chiefs of staff committee. In that capacity, he was closely involved with the ongoing theaterisation drive for optimal use of the military’s resources.
The warships commanded by Kumar include aircraft carrier INS Viraat (no longer in service), INS Ranvir, INS Nishank and INS Kora. He has undergone courses at the Naval War College, US, Army War College, Mhow and Royal College of Defence Studies, UK.
He has been decorated with the Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM), the Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) and Vishist Seva Medal(VSM).
Kumar takes over the navy’s reins at a time when the department of military affairs (DMA), headed by chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, has asked the three services to expedite their ongoing studies on the creation of threatre commands to best utilise the military’s resources for future wars and operations, and submit comprehensive reports within six months.
The setting of an April 2022 deadline for the submission of studies focusing on finalising the joint structures seeks to give new impetus to theaterisation, a long-awaited military reform, amid growing security threats. The deadline for submitting the reports has been advanced from September 2022 to April 2022.
The current theaterisation model seeks to set up four new integrated commands for synergy in operations – two land-centric theatres, an air defence command and a maritime theatre command. The creation of theatre commands could take up to two years.