'Harpoon Modification Poses Danger of Proliferation'

New Delhi
'Harpoon Modification Poses Danger of Proliferation'
The Navy today said Pakistan's illegal modification of US-supplied anti-ship Harpoon missiles to strike land-based targets was against "India's interest" and vowed to blunt such threats.

The Navy while voicing concern over this action by Pakistan also pointed to the "danger of proliferation" on several occasions.

"This has nothing to do with (Pakistan's) self-defence and it is against India's interest," outgoing Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta told reporters shortly after handing over charge to his successor Admiral Nirmal Verma.

This shows the "danger of proliferation and we have been telling this from time to time," Admiral Mehta said.

Mehta's comments came in response to questions on the New York Times report that Pakistan had illegally modified the Harpoon missile enabling it to strike land-based targets, that could be a potential to the threat. Pakistan has rejected the charge.

Mehta's assessment was shared by Admiral Verma who said this is one reason why government has been expressing concern over a period of time about the transfers that are going on to "our neighbour", in a veiled reference to Pakistan.

But the new chief said the Navy's endeavour would be to ensure nobody came within the striking distance of India and launch such missiles.

"Our endeavour during maritime operations is to ensure that nobody comes within a (striking) distance and launches such missiles," he said.

"We should have confidence in our armed forces. They are equipped, trained and have tactics to counter any threat," Admiral Verma added.

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