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Indian Navy chief of staff to be Vice Admiral Dinesh K. Tripathi

Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi

Before being named the Indian Navy vice chief in January 2024, Tripathi commanded Western Naval Command.

The Indian government announced on Thursday night that Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi will succeed Admiral R Hari Kumar, who is retiring after leading the Indian Navy for two years and five months, as the country’s next navy chief on April 30.

On the day Kumar retires, Tripathi, who is the vice chief at the moment, would be the navy’s most senior officer. Therefore, the government has adhered to the seniority norm for the forces by designating him as the successor.

Following the retirement of Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande on May 31, there will be other changes to the country’s top military leadership. Since he would be the senior-most serving officer on the day Pande retires, Vice Chief Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi is the front-runner for the top position.

Before being named the navy’s vice chief in January 2024, Tripathi oversaw Western Naval Command. Before this, he was the chief of personnel for the Navy.

He attended the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla and Sainik School in Rewa. On July 1, 1985, he received his commission in the Indian Navy.

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He was an expert in communication and electronic warfare who worked as an electronic warfare officer and signal communication officer aboard front-line warships. Later, he was the senior warfare officer and executive officer of the guided missile destroyer INS Mumbai.

He will take over the service at a time when China’s well-planned power play for influence, protecting the international order based on rules, and the Arabian Sea emerging as a new front with rising Red Sea tensions and the rise of piracy are among the problems in the far-off waters.

Tripathi will lead the navy’s modernization initiatives in his new position, with a particular emphasis on indigenization. The navy aims to achieve complete self-sufficiency in 2047, coinciding with India’s centennial of independence.

In addition to leading warships like Vinash, Kirch, and Trishul, Tripathi has held numerous important staff and operational positions. These include the principal director of naval plans in New Delhi, director of naval operations, chief of naval operations, and fleet operations officer of the Western Fleet at Mumbai. His other assignments are to the positions of Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet, and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff, Policy and Plans.

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On promotion to the rank of vice admiral in June 2019, he was appointed commandant of the prestigious Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala, Kerala, and was also the director general of naval operations from July 2020 to May 2021. In the latter role, he ensured the Navy remained a combat-ready, cohesive, and credible force ready to address many complex security challenges despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tripathi is a graduate of the elite Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and has attended the Naval War College, Goa, and the US Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. A keen sportsman, he follows tennis, badminton, and cricket. He is also known to be a keen student of international relations and military history.

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